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Sweet bread

“In the sunny Balearic island of Mallorca, one wouldn’t dream of starting the day without a cup of coffee and this traditional sweet bread…Once you taste the pleasures of its flavors, we bet you’ll want to make it part of your wake-up routine too.”

This is how the Starbucks menu describes its ensaïmada de Mallorca. It is not clear, however, how they ended up with ‘sweet bread’ as a translation of ensaïmada. Consider that Wikipedia defines sweet bread as the culinary name for “the thymus (throat, gullet, or neck sweetbread) or the pancreas (heart, stomach, or belly sweetbread)…Various other glands used as food are also called ‘sweetbreads’, including the parotid gland (“cheek” or “ear” sweetbread), the sublingual glands (“tongue” sweetbreads or “throat bread”), and testicles.”

Testicles are a common delicacy, particularly in the South of Spain, where they are served a la romana, that is, fried in batter. This no doubt explains one of my all time favourite translation fails, spotted on a menu card in Ibiza: battered testicles. [N.B battered can mean both ‘covered in batter’ and ‘attacked violently and remorselessly’.]

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