We Say Tomato, They Say Cebolla
Day 018 – August 9, 2011
Settle in boys and girls, as it is time once again for…(and here I wish I could use the reverb machine I had access to when I was a radio personality so I could give this introduction the full “echo” effect it deserves…)
When we last we left our heroes, they had been completely flummoxed by the Peruvian custom of being asked how would they like to cancel their take-out order from Pardo’s chicken.
On this night, we find myself, my lovely wife, and our adorable trio of children at a restaurant called San Antonio ready to enjoy a light supper.
My lovely wife asks for a pair of empanadas. When it arrives, she additionally requests of our waiter to have him bring her a side dish of salsa so that she may further enhance the flavor of her meal.
To both my lovely wife and myself, salsa is a condiment that is frequently used to dip tortilla chips into, but is also employed to enrich the flavor of many foods. Regardless of how one uses salsa or how many additional spices and peppers are thrown into the mix, salsa is tomato-based.
So, our surprise was palpable (and palatable) when the waiter returned with a bowl of marinated and jullianed onions (or cebollas in Spanish).
This, in Peru, dear readers, is what they consider to be salsa. It’s not extremely useful when you have a pile of chips you want to dip and it’s not all that helpful when you want to add a zing of peppery tomatoes to your empanadas.
However, in its own right, they are quite tasty.
And another lesson learned in the difference between the Spanish I learned in high school and the Spanish spoken in Peru.
Please join us next time on…
…when our hero tells a woman that he is not an interesting person.