Categories: "Food"


by Don  

I was raised in a city and am completely bereft of farm knowledge. Such a situation is not to be tolerated! I decided to begin a bit of container gardening as my first step in the process of remediating my ignorance. Today I purchased a peppermint plant.

The Russian word for mint is мята. Peppermint is перечная мята (mentha × piperita). Spearmint is мята колосистая or мята колосовая (mentha spicata). Из мяты делают чай «One can make tea from mint.»

dedie Minze
esla menta
frla menthe


by Don  

I've been on a cooking spree the last few months, and yesterday I made iced ginger elixir from p. 503 of The Garden of Eating. To my disgust I realized that I didn't know the word for ginger in any language but English. The situation was not to be tolerated! It turns out that the Russian word for it is имбирь (masc.) “I made ginger tea” = «Я сделал себе чай из имбиря.»

Имбирь is an end-stressed noun, which means that if the noun has a grammatical ending that contains one or two vowels, the stress is on the first vowel of the grammatical ending; other wise the nouns stressed on the last vowel of the word. In this case it works like this:


Well, theoretically at least that's how the word works. In fact имбирь, just like many spice words in English, usually isn't used in the plural. Can you imagine someone in English saying, "We sell cinnamons" in the sense of "We sell various types of cinnamon"? Sure, we can understand the meaning right away, and perhaps professional spice sellers might say such a thing, but an ordinary person uses the word only in the singular.

Adjective: имбирный

deder Ingwer
esel jengibre
frle jinjembre

Чеснок (часть первая)

by Don  

In Tucson there is a road named “Ajo Way” which, along with the town named “Ajo,” is one of the shibboleths of Arizona life: newcomers pronounce it ah-joe, whereas natives and long-timers pronounce it ah-kho, where the jay is pronounced like the cee aitch in the Scottish pronunciation of Loch Ness. But even native Arizonans often don't know that ajo is Spanish for garlic.

The Russian word for garlic is чеснок. If you go to a big vegetable market in Russia, you are likely to find pickled garlic маринованный чеснок, as well as pickled onions, beets, cucumbers, mushrooms and cabbage. The first Russian family I met had a seven-year old daughter Марьяна who I once watched eat clove after clove of pickled garlic as if they were M&Ms. No accounting for taste, eh?

deder Knoblauch
esel ajo
frl'ail (masc.)

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