If you are on the dating scene, then chances are you are out to impress. You have finally landed a date with a certain special someone (yeah, you know who). You’ve scored a killer table at one of the Central Coast’s best restaurants (yeah, we know where). You’re all dressed in your finest threads and sitting across from each other, eyes glinting like the effervescent cocktail in your palm. You reach for the menu and – you remember you’re an idiot – you don’t know an escabeche from an eschalot. How are you going to know what to order? Well we at The Joker and Thief are no snobs, but we love fine foods. So we have put together a humble little glossary to help you brush up on your ordering skillz. Don’t worry. We got your back!
Remember when you used to pronounce ‘Rojo Rocket’ with a ‘j’? You feel pretty silly about it now, right? How weird, that you used to say ‘expresso’, ugh! Or the age old classic ‘pasghetti’. Thank heavens you have got those words sorted out now. Getting the words right is just as important as knowing what the hell they are.
Arancini – pronounced A-ruhn-CHEE-nee, this Italian tradition is risotto stuffed with ragu (see below) and crumbed then deep fried. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong!
Bisque – a creamy soup usually made from crustaceans like lobster, crab or prawns with white wine and cream.
Burrata – a soft shelled buffalo milk cheese wrapped around a creamy centre. Similar to mozzarella.
Carpaccio – pronounced car-PAH-chee-oh, and originating in Italy, carpaccio is thin slices of high quality raw beef. Think italian sashimi.
Ceviche – is diced cubes of raw fish marinated in an acidic juice like lemon or lime, which cures the meat. It’s from Peru and is pronounced seh-VEE-chay.
Consommé – pronounced con-som-AY with your best french accent, it is a strong and flavoursome soup made by concentrating and clarifying meat stock. Verry fancy…
Chorizo – a spanish pork sausage that is actually pretty common nowadays. It’s usually spiced with paprika and can be hot (like chilli) or smoked. Say it like the spanish, cho-REE-though.
Crème Fraîche – cream that has been soured and made thick with bacteria culture. It can be served with both sweet and savoury dishes. If you watch Masterchef you’ll know already that you say it krem-fresh.
Escabeche – a Spanish dish of fried fish covered in an acidic sauce, like vinegar and lemon.
Escalivada – rustic and smokey roasted veggies, usually eggplant and capsicum, Catalonia style. To say it, think of King Arthur’s sword: ES-skarly-bada
Ghee – the golden dream slick that coats your butter naan is not butter, but ghee. It is clarified butter that is gently heated to a point where milk proteins are separated and caramelised. Ask Terrigals best barista for some in a long black.
Gözleme – okay every market-stall-Mary knows this tasty Turkish flatbread treat filled with spinach and feta, but can you pronounce it? Hell no you can’t! Say GUERZ-leh-meh. You’re welcome.
Harrisa – a smokey Tunisian condiment that packs some heat. Harissa is to northern Africa as Sriracha is to South-East Asia. We put it on our cauli.
Pangrattato – Italiano for bread crumbs. Find it in soups or caesar salads.
Phở – ok ok. Getting this one right will either knock the socks off your date, or they will think you have had too many cocktails. It’s a Vietnamese noodle soup but nobody cares about that; people just want to know how the hell you say it! Imagine a fur seal saying ‘fur’. It has a little boing sound through it. Still confused? Mm-hmm.
Quesadilla – umm. Mexican grilled cheese.
Quinoa – please don’t say it like Dr. Quinn and Noah’s ark. This edible seed is a bit like if rice grew a tail, and you say KEEN-wha.
Ragú – Ra-GOO is an Italian meat based sauce. Bolognese is probably the most infamous of the ragús.
So there you have it. You are now so ready to trailblaze the dating scene in any of the best restaurants in Terrigal.
But you don’t still say expresso right?