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Mike G wrote:Thanks for expanding the number of known Romanian restaurants well beyond what anyone would have imagined were still operating.
Gypsy Boy wrote:We wouldn't refer to polenta served in an Italian restaurant as mamaliga
LAZ wrote:Gypsy Boy wrote:We wouldn't refer to polenta served in an Italian restaurant as mamaliga
Mamaliga, polenta, hasty pudding ... it's all just cornmeal mush.
It's usually less confusing to refer to a dish in the language in which it's listed on the menu concerned. However, if that term isn't common enough that most people know it, it can be clearer to offer a better-known term from another language or translate into English.
Antonius wrote:At this point, 'polenta' is without doubt the most common name for cornmeal mush used in American English (at least amongst us Yankees)
Antonius wrote:Note too that "cornmeal mush" doesn't sound especially elegant and for social and (socially motivated) aesthetic reasons the term 'polenta' is preferred by restaurateurs and their audience (a 'prestige' motivated borrowing parallel to the borrowing into Middle English of the several French names for meat varieties).
LAZ wrote:Antonius wrote:At this point, 'polenta' is without doubt the most common name for cornmeal mush used in American English (at least amongst us Yankees)
My New England Yankee friends are apt to call it "Indian pudding," and serve it with maple syrup, but....
LAZ wrote:Or hiding something humble or unappealing under highfalutin language, such as "calamari" for "squid" and "escargot" for "snails."
As long as I'm on the subject, the cheese is NOT feta. The cheese is made from sheep's milk and yes, it is white. Yes, it is slightly grainy and yes, it is made in blocks. Mild, moist, and crumbly (as it ages; it is creamier and spreadable when young, as Mike G rightly observed). But it is made sweet or can (but need not be) preserved in salt. When that is done it certainly resembles feta. But it is not feta and the taste is different. The dish is mamaliga cu brinza and the name of the cheese is brinza (or, depending upon your orthographical generation in Romania and your willingness to accede to government edicts regarding same, branza; I can't reproduce the proper letter with diacritical mark).
End of lecture.
But polenta is Italian. Romanians call it mamaliga.
jbw wrote:I always assumed "mamaliga" was the Yiddish term for polenta!