The ravishing radish

When Iris was born, she received a gift from the Seattle Public Library: a free board book. I chose My Food/Mi Comida by Rebecca Emberley. (I also got to thinking about how I could exploit this free gift thing, maybe by bringing in a huge sack of babies and demanding dozens of free books.)

Each page features a collage-style picture of a food and its name in English and Spanish. But not everyone approves of this book. As one Amazon reviewer said:

“Radish” is another choice, but since it is such an uncommon vegetable, I am not sure why she didn’t use someting like a potato or a bell pepper, which are more common.

I’ll tell you why: because the Spanish word for radish is el rábano. If I were a masked bandit–and who’s to say I am not?–I would call myself El Rábano. I’d steal fresh ingredients from the trophy kitchens of the elite and cook them (the ingredients) into lavish banquets for the people.

I can hear them calling for me now. ¡Viva El Rábano!

(Hmm, I guess this fantasy is heavily influenced by Three Amigos. I’m not sure what that says.)

12 thoughts on “The ravishing radish

  1. Kirsten

    Have you and Iris read Skippy Jon Jones? If not, you must. It is about a Siamese cat who believes he is a chiuahua and must save the beans of his people from the bandito!

  2. Wendy

    Wow, two of the four reviewers specifically mention the radish thing. After reading their reviews, I am convinced. I, too, wish to keep children from learning new words and finding out about unfamiliar vegetables. I also wish to keep them from finding out that sometimes there are two different words for the same thing.

    (I’m surprised the native Spanish speaking reviewer doesn’t seem to know that minced radish is a pretty common condiment in parts of Latin America.)

  3. heather

    we have no kids, but i regularly try to convice my husband that vegetables he thinks are real do not exist, all gaslight style. “turnips?” i say. “what are THOSE?” “shut up,” he says.

    clearly the key is to get to them young.

  4. mamster Post author

    Now that you have him trained, make up some fake vegetables, and he won’t believe you when you tell him they’re fake. “Don’t tell me you forgot the delicious tomangoes we had just last week?”

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