Food is a complicated thing. There are basic foods that are easily translated from one language to another, and then multiple local versions. Look at the variation in the breads of Portugal or types of coffee servings and you get a sense of how complicated it can be figuring out what you are asking for or how to ask for what you want. So, learning the words for foodstuffs can be challenging and I find it difficult to move from having a passive knowledge to an active memory. At the moment I am sticking to learning the version of foodstuffs from Portugal. But, even then it is proving a stretch to embed words in my long term memory.
As with much vocabulary, I have had to revise food time and again. I learn words, use them, feel temporarily confident, then not use them for a while, forget them again, thus lose confidence. Certain words pop up all over, such as bread, milk, tea, coffee and have stuck. Others, such as names of fruits and vegetables are learnt and forgotten. For this, I think that I have to start following food blogs, gather a selection of aggregate sites, and regularly watch TV chefs. This should get me into the habit of reading and seeing the words, and remind me to revise this area frequently. My choice is pretty random with two broad criteria: they are food related and from Portugal.
- For traditional omnivore eating I’ve chosen to tune into RTP’s (Portuguese national TV) A Praça, which has a food segment, often with different chefs.
- For an insight into how the clean eating movement/vegan eats is adapted to Portuguese tastebuds, I’ve chosen Sociedade Vegan, which, despite its name is run by a single individual.
- Some restaurant pages are useful, especially when they have menus. The Fork is a useful aggregate site and this top 10 has reviews and links.
- I don’t want to forget some regional choices since many of the above are Lisbon-centred. Here is a list for the North and South of Portugal.
- For another approach to food, Fruta Feia is an organisation based in Porto working to get more consumers to think about food waste in the distribution chain. There is an English and Portuguese version of the site. As well as information about the organisation on the site, there are recipes.
This is intended as a list to help with my revision and learning. I would love to know what you use to revise food vocabulary.