I have to admit that I was a bit startled to see this large display of “galletas Marias” in the grocery store today . . . in central Illinois.  But that brought to mind a quick Spanish lesson!

Okay, if you look at the picture above, it’s pretty obvious that these “galletas” are cookies.  Heck, it even says so on the box (it’s a little hard to see, but the arrows point to it).

That’s great . . . so then why is this box of saltines called “galletas saladitas?”

Yep, “galletas” can be either cookies or crackers.  We learned this the hard way, when we asked for a package of galletas at a small tienda, wanting some cookies to have after dinner.  The clerk handed us some, no picture on the package.  We were rather surprised that evening when we opened our “cookies” and found that we had Ritz-type crackers.

Two pieces of advice —

(1)  when you’re not fully sure of the language, it’s a good idea to buy food with pictures on the package; and

(2) if you’re heading to places where Spanish or French is spoken, grab a copy of Kathy Parson’s great books, tailored to all the things a boater needs to do (both on Amazon):

They are both fantastic books and well worth their price.

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  • Nicola Kamper
    Posted at 24 July 2013 Reply

    The same is true in (British) English. The word “biscuit” can be either a cookie or a cracker.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 24 July 2013 Reply

      Thanks for reminding me of that! Been a while since I’ve been with Brits . . . last time I was, they had no idea what I wanted when I asked for some TP (toilet paper or as they’d say, loo roll)!

  • Becky Croston
    Posted at 11 July 2014 Reply

    When I tried to find “medium chedder” in Australia, I found they have either “cheesy, cheesier, and cheesiest” chedders. We tried to substitute Australian ingredients for a favorite recipe, and cooked it—and hated it!
    “Recipes” :
    ” I didn’t have potatoes, so I substituted rice.
    I didn’t have paprika, so I used another spice.
    I didn’t have tomato sauce, so I used tomato paste.
    A whole can, not a half can, I don’t believe in waste.
    My friend gave me the recipe, she said you can’t beat it.
    There must be something wrong with her, I couldn’t even eat it.”

  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 11 July 2014 Reply

    We had fun in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Easier where the alphabet is the same as ours then you can use dictionary and attempt to say words but where alphabet is completely different (thai)it is almost impossible. But we love the challenge. This is when we rely on the pics.

  • John
    Posted at 11 July 2014 Reply

    For the technology enabled cruiser there is always google translate. And I just discovered a magical app called Word Lens that uses the camera to translate the words in place. Serious magic!! I just moved to the Dominican Republic and have to “provision” weekly. These two apps have been life savers..!!

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