This section is from the book "The Art Of Naming Dishes On Bills Of Fare", by L. Schumacher. Also available from Amazon: The Art of Naming Dishes on Bills of Fare.
The abbreviation of menu terms, so largely adopted by the French, is typical of that Avhich is found in any line of trade where certain short expressions are indispensable. A cook has no time to bother with long names; neither has the waiter, who takes his orders either oral or written. For them a brief indication is sufficient. For oeufs brouilles au petit-sale there is simply oeufs petit-sale. Chefs have become so accustomed to such terms that they use them unconsciously when making up the bills of fare. But this, again is the reason why so many translators have to deal with many difficulties, even when they are well versed in the French or other languages; and, as the public cannot be expected to understand the abbreviated names they should be given more explicitly or losses will be incurred by the restaurant management.
That many of the abbreviated terms are not understood by the menu-translators is alsa the reason for foreign names appearing on bills of fare, which easily could be avoided. Let us take oeufs petit-sale. The words are often written with capital initial letters as Oeufs Petit Sale. This contributes to the difficulty of not understanding the words Petit Sale. Perhaps some may take it for a figure of speech, or for one of the proper names in which the French culinary language is so rich. The result is that the translation appears on many bills of fare simply as Eggs Petit Sale. In reality petit-sale is salted pork and because the preposition au is left out, the correct translation should be Eggs with salted pork. But another important word is omitted, namely brouilles. Therefore Scrambled eggs and |salted| pork or simply Scrambled pork as it is often called.
That the abbreviation of names also can give a wrong interpretation to some dishes, can be proven by the above, which is often translated (on bills of fare as also in some books) as Bacon and eggs meaning Fried eggs and bacon.
Similar instances of abbreviations in French, which have been adopted in other languages, are shown as follows:
Creme royale for Potage creme de volaille, royale.
Potage royale for Potage lie de volaille, royale.
Potage royale for Potage clair de volaille, royale.
Consomme royale for Consomme de boeuf aux legumes, royale.
Consomme royale for Consomme de volaille, royale.
Cream royal for Chicken cream soup, royal.
Soup (Potage) royal for Thick chicken soup, royal. Soup (Potage) royal for Clear chicken soup, royal. Consomme royal for Beef consomme w. vegetables, royal.
Consomme royal for Chicken consomme, royal.
There are many other instances where such abbreviations should not occur as the terms then have an entirely different meaning: Carpe a la sauce de caviar and Salmon a la sauce au citron, etc. The words a la sauce are often left out and the meaning is Carp with caviar and Salmon with lemon instead of Carp with caviar sauce and Salmon with lemon sauce. If an abbreviation is to be used then only a la can be left out, for which a comma must be inserted; and the same in English when leaving out with. The words sauce and stuffed always must be mentioned in connection with a dish and never a style designation alone for a sauce or & stuffing. Otherwise a garnish (garniture) can be misunderstood as: Poitrine de veau, sauce a Vallemande (Breast of veal, German sauce); Poitrine de veau, farcie a Vallemande (Breast of veal, German stuffing, or stuffed in German style); Poitrine de veau, /gar-iture a Vallemande (Breast of veal, German /garnish/). If the words sauce and stuffed are left out then a Vallemande (German style) refers to breast of veal with a garnish. One must admit that there is a big difference between each dish but all three dishes can be intelligibly expressed by writing just one word more. 1
Abbreviated names have been used in most countries, and especially in the U. S. A., in a deplorable manner. On nearly every bill of fare one meets with names which can be understood only by the cooks and perhaps a few others in the establishment.
As with French, mixed English-French, and other foreign names, so it is sometimes with plain English names given on bills of fare that are not intelligible enough. Viz:
Shinnecocks Cherrystones Cape Cods.
Blue Points Halibut Ljobster.
Very often restaurant patrons will ask what this or that means. Sometimes they do not like to ask and consequently do not order. The heading Sea Food does not mean much to them. How could they know that Shinnecock clams, Cherrystone clams, Cape Cod oysters, Blue Point oysters are meant? Again, the two latter names do not say how they are prepared. One supposes plain boiled or fried halibut or lobster, but often they are prepared in some other complicated style.
But in the culinary languages there are some words which can be left out without obscuring the distinctiveness.
The French often omit a la, au, aux, en; the English with, and, in _.................. style; the Spanish can, y, a la; the Germans mit, und, auf ........................ Art, nach ...........„........... Art. In all languages there are mostly omitted the words soup, sauce, and others, when they have a heading as in the following instances.
Roties, au four, bouillies, gratinees. frites a la francaise, frites a l'allemande, puree, croquettes, a la parisienne, a la julienne, creme Saratoga.
Roties , a la Parisienne.
Bouillies a la Julienne.
Au four Croquettes.
Frites, Francaise Saratoga.
Frites, allemande Creme.
Fried, baked, boiled, gratinated, French fried, German fried, puree, croquettes, Parisian, julienne (shredded or baked), cream, Saratoga.
Boiled (shredded and baked).
French fried Saratoga.
German fried Cream.
Fritas, horneadas, cocidas, gratinadas, fritas a la francesa, fritas a la alemanesa, pure, croquetas, a la parisiense, a la julienne, crema, Saratoga.
Fritas a la Parisiense.
Cocidas a la Julienne.
Fritas a la francesa Saratoga.
Fritas a la alemanesa Crema.
Gebraten, gebacken, gekocht, krumiert & gebacken, franzosisch gebraten, deutsch gebraten, Mus, Krusteln, Pariser Art, gebackene Streifen, Rahm, Saratoga.
Gebraten Pariser Art.
Gekocht Gebackene Streifen.
Franzosisch gebraten Saratoga.
Deutsch gebraten Rahm.
As to other abbreviations they can be written as in the following instances:
Pommes de terre a la parisienne Potatoes, Paris (Parisian) style Pommes de terre, parisienne Potatoes, Parisian.
Consomme de poule a l'americaine Chicken consomme in American style Consomme de poule, americaine Chicken consomme, American style.
Chicken consomme, American.
Sauce a la Villeroi Sauce in Villeroi style.
Sauce, Villeroi Sauce, Villeroi style.
Sauce Villeroi Sauce/,/ Villeroi.
Legumes meles a la Villeroi Mixed vegetables in Villeroi- style.
Legumes meles, Villeroi Mixed vegetables, Villeroi style.
Mixed vegetables, Villeroi.
Papas a la parisiense Kartoffeln auf Pariser Art.
Papas, parisiense Kartoffeln, Pariser Art.
Consomme de gallina a la Huhn-Kraftbruhe auf Amerikaner.
[americana (amerikanische) Art.
Consomme de gallina, americanaHuhn-Kraftbruhe, Amerikaner.
(amerikanische) Art Huhn-Kraftbriihe, amerikanisch.
Salsa a la Villeroi Tunke (Sose) nach Villeroi.
Salsa, Villeroi Tunke (Sose), Villeroi.
Salsa Villeroi Villeroi-Tunke; Villeroi-Sose.
Legumbres mixtas a la Villeroi Gemischtes Gemiise nach Villeroi Legumbres mixtas, Villeroi Gemischtes Gemiise, Villeroi.
The (foregoing instances show that the French and the Spaniards sometimes leave out the comma as in Sauce Villeroi and Salsa Villeroi. This expresses the same as Villeroi sauce and Villeroi-Tunke (Villeroi-Sose) in English and German.
As to the designations in German, note the following: All geographical adjectives with the ending isch begin with a small letter, while such with the ending er are written with a capital. If the word Art is mentioned with an adjective ending in isch then all adjectives have an equal ending, namely ische. If the word Art is left out then the ending is always isch. One can write: Amerikanische Art, italienische Art, mexikanische Art but amerikanisch, italienisch, mexikanisch etc. Also deutsche Art but without Art one must write deutsch.
As to the personal nouns, the Germans write nach before the name and seldom mention the word Art. Frequently nach is left out also, and a conimo inserted in its place.