Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to Acquire Food Vocabulary

As I mentioned in How to Buy an Alarm Clock in Moscow, there is fascinating array of glass-walled kiosks beneath the streets of Moscow, many of which sell food. I find it strange, though, that they all sell the same food: microwaved pastries, for between 20 and 40 rubles each, which is about 1 or 2 New Zealand Dollars. The pastries aren't especially satisfying, and I think that I become ill from one just after I arrived; but they have one overwhelming redemptive quality. They are remarkably useful for learning food vocabulary.

Essentially, to learn a new word, I walk up to the kiosk, order something I can't identify, and, while trying to remember the name of what I bought, mull over what the principle ingredient might be.

So far I have learned the Russian words for: apple, probably lemon, some sort of berry, non-specific meat and what may have been cheese.

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