Saturday, January 24 2009

Fun with loanwords

In the children’s novel 魔女へようこそ (“Welcome to the Witch’s Mansion”), casting spells involves cooking. There’s a particular recipe that’s very important to the story, and is printed in full at the end of the book. It took me forty minutes to figure out what it was called.

悪い魔法封じこめるウ・ア・ラ・ネージュ

For the kanji/kana-challenged, that’s “Warui Mahou o Fuuji-komeru U A Ra Neeju”. The first half is a straightforward prenominal phrase, “…which confines evil magic”, but what is it?

First clue: it’s a dessert recipe.

Second clue: the ingredient list consists of eggs, sugar, cornstarch, milk, and vanilla extract.

Third clue: the recipe requires separating the eggs to make メリンゲ (Meringe) and カスタードソース (Casutaadosoosu).

Fourth clue: the end result involves placing the poached meringe on top of the casutaadosoosu.

Answer below the fold…

Oeufs à la Neige

In English, that would be “Snow Eggs”, although apparently it’s more often called “Floating Islands” and drizzled with liqueur.