At this point in my life I feel as if I can read a French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese menu with little confusion. However, I have to admit there seems an inconsistency in many American restaurant menus serving these cuisines. I can’t figure out why chefs print an English menu but randomly insert words in the native language of the cuisine they cook. Do they think by printing pollo the chicken will seem more authentically Italian? By reading fromage will I feel like I’m at an outdoor cafe in Paris?
I can appreciate that restaurants serving cuisines from other countries are always trying to prove how authentic the food will be for patrons, but more often than not, it seems either patronizing or just confuses their clientele.
Food tastes great when the ingredients are fresh, prepared correctly, and served so it is visually appealing. If chefs think printing menu ingredients in another language makes their plates seem more authentic they are just fooling themselves and probably losing business from customers too timid to inquire about the menu item(s) in question.