As a vegetarian, I’m used to seeing things on Spanish menus that really don’t appeal to me. Yesterday, though, I was particularly taken – or not – by the top two items on the meat section:
The first, secreto, makes me think of the times we used to pester my mother “What’s for dinner?”, only to be told “Wait and see.”
“Wait and see” may have been my staple diet as a child, but I’m not about to start eating something listed on the menu as “It’s a secret.”
Actually, back in the early Eighties, there was a restaurant in Earl’s Court, the ‘Malaysian Kitchen’, I think, that used to serve just such an item. If you didn’t like it you didn’t pay, but you had to say if you’d enjoyed it before they’d tell you what it was.
I seem to remember the owner explaining that it originated when one of their regular clients kept joking that he wanted snake. So they decided that they’d actually serve it to him one night.
This brings me neatly to the second item on the menu: lagarto. The main definition in the rae is:
Reptil terrestre del orden de los Saurios, de cinco a ocho decímetros de largo
I’m sure some lizards are very edible, but again, I’d rather not sample one myself.
(For those who don’t read Spanish, I should probably point out that these are actually expressions used for different cuts of meat.)