Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lies, damn lies and...

...no, not statistics, but rather the internet.

Last week Jas went to a friend's to play*, stayed for lunch and I eventually prised her out of Elena's house just in time to feed her tea.

They'd had a great time (of course) and had had lasagne for lunch**. They'd had to go shopping for the cream (or something) to make the lasagne I was told. But Jas then happily went on to explain that:
"lasagne comes from England you know."

I laughed loudly at that, loving the irony that we're going to Rome in two months time...I put her straight, and explained that lasagne was Italian. But she refused to believe me, they'd looked it up on the internet she said, and lasagne definitely comes from England...
But she wasn't finished. Oh no. They'd also looked up the origins of pasta on the same damned internet and guess where that comes from? Not Italy clearly. But China!

Now I can understand how they managed to Google*** pasta and declare that it originates in China because Germans call all pasta, no matter what shape or colour, noodles. Bonkers I know. So of course if you Google noodles on the German websites you find out that the oldest reference to this important foodstuff is 4,000 years ago in China. Google pasta on the other hand (the proper, Italian name for the stuff that goes into (English) lasagne) and you find that it comes from...Italy...of course.

But how they managed to Google 'lasagne' and decide that it comes from England confused me, until that is I checked the German Wikipedia entry for lasagne. There they mention that there is a theory about lasagne originating from the time of Richard II but that this is one of the less plausible theories - which is a line that the girls clearly decided to 'ignore'. On the English Wiki site they talk of three different theories for lasagne's origins, consigning the English story to third place and giving it little credence, phew!

The moral of that story is always double or triple check your sauces...****

* the school summer holidays have become a six week child swap. Jas is as bored playing with me as I am when forced to play Barbies with her and most days manages to arrange for some little girl to come here or she gets herself invited around there. Fine by me, as long as I have a happy house and I don't have to dress up the pneumatic boobed blonde bombshell, I don't mind playing child swapsies.
** the Germans will, more often than not have a cooked lunch, which tends to mean that Jas will get two cooked meals in a day if out at a friends (because I refuse to bow to the German practise) but a friend coming to us for lunch will quite possibly not get a cooked meal that day, as they'll go home in time for 'Abendbrot' (literally 'evening bread', tea to me).
*** other search engines are available, but let's be honest, don't we all use Google? And I just love the fact that it's both a noun and a verb.
****deliberate typo.

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