I don’t know about you, but when I’m abroad I live in permanent fear of restaurants. As soon as you are outside of your own culture, you find yourself having to pick off a menu in a foreign language – and what you thought sounded like roast chicken might actually turn out to be some local so-called delicacy like boiled pig-snouts served with swamp cabbage.
So it was a relief when I went to a small Portuguese restaurant the other day when the waiter produced a menu all in English.
And sure enough – there it was! The unwary tourist-special, lurking among the entrées.. number 14. Frigid Dog-Whelk Salad.
Now I have to admit at this point that I am not familiar with the Dog-Whelk. I have never met one. I cannot tell you whether it is more closely related to the Dog or the Whelk, nor what misfortune befell it, that it ended up in some unfortunate non-Portuguese-literate diner’s salad. Moreover, I doubt that on a first meeting with the Dog-Whelk I would have become chummy enough to have found out what was going so terribly wrong with its sex-life that it would be referred to in its after-life as the “Frigid Dog-Whelk” – no these secrets will go with it to its salady grave
The main courses also had their hidden dangers. Number 21, for example. Rice with Frog-Fish. Personally, my feeling is that if the Chef is uncertain whether the main ingredient is a frog or a fish, then that’s a dish I’m not going to enjoy. I was also a little worried about the Groper on space number 22. Perhaps it might have been better to put that one together with the Dog-Whelk… at least the frigidity problem might have been resolved.
No I decided to avoid the fish altogether, so I turned over to the meat section
Here again, the local delicacies for the unwary were lurking. At number 39: Grilled Beef Prick and at number 43: Grilled Pork Prick. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a restaurant with quite so many sexual problems on the menu (unlike the Dog-Whelk, I am at least familiar with cows and pigs – and I think I can speak for both species when I say they would class having their prick grilled as one of the most serious sexual problems they can think of).
You’re all hoping that I ordered all of the above dishes, right?
Sorry – I have to disappoint you. When it comes to odd sounding cuisine I’m a coward. In a situation like this my entire digestive system shuts down and refuses anything but a cheese and tomato omelette… or some other safe and easily identifiable food.
Definitely not a Dog-Whelk with a mating problem.