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About the site - what's in it and why;
pronunciation & acknowledgements

What is contained in

Suzy Oakes, the creator of this database last updated it on 6th May 2011. Her description of the database is given below. contains 67,431 entries in 307 languages plus a further 42,027 where plurals have been coded.

The website gives information about food and food related items ranging from a Swahili name for a corkscrew (cha kazibulia) or a Norwegian word for a tin-opener (boks-åpner) to some details about a Bengali festival celebrating the harvest (nabanno); from information about what constitutes a 'bottle' to words for different types of flavour in multiple languages; from obscure Brazilian cocktails (batida de maracujá) to descriptions of Japanese haute cuisine governed by rituals of numbers, beauty and exquisite food (kaiseki ryöri); from descriptions of 155 different types of consommé in France to 18 different names for fish sauce in South East Asia.

The main aim of

The main aim of is to help people trying to find an English translation of something unknown to them in a foreign language. (Again, bear in mind that we are only a third of the way through the proposed eventual list of foods). So that if you are in a German restaurant or a Portuguese fish shop or (eventually) a Cantonese market, you should be able to type in the name of the food or name of a dish (or a phonetic version of it) and find a description, in some cases with a photograph.

The secondary aim is to describe things well known to us in English, such as what a pineapple is or what are the main constituents of steak and kidney pudding (er – steak, kidneys ....) This is a lower priority.

There is no aim to include recipes except in very rare cases. There are hundreds of recipes available for something like 'coq au vin' and although I know which is my favourite (Simon Hopkinson's), I prefer to leave people to work out who has written their own personal favourite version. My aim is simply to describe the main constituent ingredients.


We consider the website to be about a third of its eventual size. It is complete (as much as anything can be complete) approximately as follows:
    A = 95%
    B = 95%
    C = 60%
    D-Z = 25%

Except that the following are 95% complete:
    Indian Languages (17, including Hindi and Urdu)


I have developed a system of pronunciation based on those which I have found easiest to use in other publications. There are inherent problems in some languages. Take Spanish. I have, thoughout, used 's' as the sound associated with 's', 'z' and 'c' (in most cases). However, in some parts of Spain the 's' sound would invariably be softened to 'th' or 'dh'. I thought it best to leave the sound as 's' and allow you to decide whether you would yourself soften it to 'th', depending on where you are in Spain.


The website has been developed by Jane Skinner who has not only carried out this work with thoroughness and good humour, but who has been hugely supportive since the work started on the database in 1998. I have also been greatly helped and supported by Jenny (and Terry) McCann. Barry Widmer gave tuition in the use of Access without which this would never have been possible. Steve O'Rahilly has been Steve O'Rahilly and has made the transition from thinking of this as a 'little hobby' to regarding it as a 'work of scholarship' with warmth and generosity. I also owe thanks (but nothing else!!) to Michael Holyoke and Catherine Clark for advice and interest. Adeline Douard arrived on the scene in 2008 and embarked on proof-reading the French list with huge energy and attention, and has made suggestions about how to make and "Food for Travellers" more accessible to the public. She has worked tirelessly for and greatly improved the quality of the French list, and pressurised many of her kind friends to record sounds for the website, distribute cards throughout France and the like. Aurélie Chapain joined us for a few months and started the very complicated work of producing a French version of the website. This did not just involve straightforward translation but a thorough understanding of the structure of the site and the complexity of the dataset.

Various people have read text and checked specific languages, or have made other contributions. To these people I am greatly indebted. They include:

  • Susi Arendt for adding plural terms to German terms
  • G.J.C.M. van den Bemd for proof-reading and adding plural terms to the Dutch list
  • Babette Blaedel-Flajsner for amazing work on both the Danish and the Swedish lists, adding plurals, correcting my misunderstandings and providing wonderful anecdotes and information about traditions.
  • Gerd Browne for proof-reading the Norwegian list
  • Isobel Caldas for proof-reading the Portuguese list and help with pronunciation
  • Martyna Candrick for checking out the Polish and helping with plurals and pronunciations
  • Dexter Canoy for looking at the Finnish and Filipino lists
  • Siddharth Dasgupta for proof-reading the Bengali list and adding Bengali script. No mean feat!
  • Mun Flint for providing fruit and vegetables for photography
  • Bob Gabaldoni for proof-reading the Italian list - a particularly enormous amount of work
  • Sophie Garnier for recording the sounds of French terms
  • Lisa Grossman for her perceptive and useful comments on both design and content
  • Ruth Guttierez for proof-reading the Mexican list
  • Cass Jones for general help and information
  • Mahmoud Al-Khilani for adding Arabic text to the Arabic list
  • Satu Kovanen for proof-reading the Finnish list
  • Mariana Kavroulaki for proof-reading the Greek in English and Greek!
  • Anna Krook for proof-reading the Swedish list
  • Stanley Lobel for his great generosity and expertise regarding meats
  • David Lyne-Gordon for his learned contributions about edible plants
  • Geoff Martin in Catalonia for e-mailing in corrections and additions
  • Aarno, Leena and Laura Palotie for proof-reading the Finnish list and really putting it into shape
  • Magdalena Pietka for proof-reading the Polish list
  • Noy, whose surname I do not know, from BelAir Hotel in Luang Prabang for adding to the Lao list and identifying foods from photographs
  • D. Rajanivasu for astonishing help with the Telugu
  • Outi Rantanen for painstakingly checking the Finnish, adding pluras and partitive forms. Amazingly helpful, patient and long-suffering.
  • Evis Sala for proof-reading and contributing to the Albanian list
  • Guillaume Tucker for proof-reading the Japanese and adding Japanese characters
  • Antonio Vidal-Puig and his family for proof-reading the Spanish list and taking us to Valencia
  • Nina Waldmann for proof-reading the Icelandic list

In addition, thanks are due to the many traders and restaurateurs who allowed me to photograph foods and food-related items. These include:

  • Abou El Cid in Cairo in Egypt
  • Amanda Adler for the s'mores, Carmel, California, USA
  • Keffi Alakij at Padstow Seafood School
  • Abdul Arain at Al-Amin Stores, Mill Road, Cambridge, UK
  • Applebee Fish in Borough Market, London, UK
  • Berried Treasures, Cooks Falls, NY, USA
  • Birgitta Åhs, Östermalms Saluhall, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Alpine Zoo, Innsbruck, Austria
  • Arjuna, Mill Road, Cambridge, UK
  • Au Petit Poissonnier in Wazemmes Market in Lille, France
  • Balikci Bahriyeli, 138 Ridley Road, E8 in Dalston Market, London, UK
  • Banderssons, Östermalms Saluhall, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Bibury Trout Farm in Bibury in the Cotswolds, UK
  • Big Mama sailing out of Bloomfield Lodge in Australia
  • Bonner's, The Covered Market in Oxford, UK
  • Botanic Gardens, Cambridge, UK
  • Carsten Ten Brink
  • Brown Derby Deli, Quincy Market, Boston, Mass, USA
  • Brunelli, Via Drapperie, Bologna, Italy
  • The butcher, Pinhão in the Douro in Portugal
  • Butterfield Market, 1114 Lexington Avenue, New York, USA
  • Buzzy's Roast Beef, Boston, Mass, USA, now sadly demolished
  • Café de Paris in Málaga, Spain
  • Cambridge Cheese Company in All Saints Passage, Cambridge, UK
  • Camino Real in Oaxaca in Mexico
  • Captain's Choice, Rappahannock Drive, White Stone, Virginia, USA
  • Carballeira, Galician restaurant in Barcelona, Spain
  • Carluccio's, Covent Garden, London, UK
  • Carter's Fruit & Veg in Cambridge Market, UK
  • Casa Dona Angela, Frigiliana, Andalucia, Spain
  • Cho Mee, Mill Road, Cambridge, UK
  • Christie's Live Seafood at Sydney Fish Market, Australia
  • Citarella on Broadway and in Greenwich Village, New York, USA
  • Clark's Quality Fruit & Veg in Cambridge Market, UK
  • Claudios at Sydney Fish Market, Australia
  • Alison and Jack at Cotto, East Road in Cambridge, UK
  • Betty Clarke and Nakirubo Market, Kampala, Uganda, Africa
  • Joe Clarke for his picture of samphire in Croatia
  • Clarke's, Borough Market, London, UK
  • The Cliffords at the Manor in Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, UK
  • Coe's at Cambridge Market, UK
  • Coleman Family Farm of Carpinteria, California, USA
  • Conscious Cookery of Orange Avenue in San Diego, California, USA
  • Cooktown Museum, Cooktown, Australia
  • Cotswold Wildlife Park, near Burford in Oxfordshire.UK
  • Paul Coulson for providing a really beautiful cabbage
  • Country Life in Melantrichova in Prague, Czech Republic
  • CA Crane in Cambridge Market, UK
  • Croxton Hall Farm, Croxton in Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Olly at Daylesford Organics in Gloucestershire, UK
  • Peter Dight, Beekeeper of St Ives in Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Amelia Dutton, Hillcrest Farmers' Market, California, USA
  • The Earth's Crust in Cambridge, UK
  • East of England Apple and Orchards Project
  • Eden Project, Cornwall, UK
  • Eileen's "Special" Cheese Cake Store, New York, USA
  • Ein Gedi Botanic Gardens by the Dead Sea in Israel
  • Eroski, Vélez-Málaga in Andalucia, Spain
  • Falai in Greenwich Village, New York, USA
  • Farmers' Market in Leipzig, Germany
  • Farmers' Market in Napa Valley, California, USA
  • Di Farrow, for the photograph of the prize awarded in memory of her son James
  • Fauchon in Lexington Avenue, New York, USA
  • Tonny Fehling in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Fellers and Daughter, Butchers, Covered Market in Oxford, UK
  • Fen End Farm, Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Fiaschetteria Toscana in Venice, Italy
  • Sarah, Nick and Sue Finer
  • Fishworks, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, UK
  • Fitzgerald's, at Santa Monica Farmers' Market, California, USA
  • Mun Flint for growing various tomatoes and odd varieties of fruit and vegetables
  • Fortnum & Mason, London, UK
  • Kaarin Lindsay-Dynon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney, Australia
  • Marc Miron, Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney, Australia
  • Friend's Ranches, Santa Monica Farmers' Market, California, USA
  • Fruits de France in Jindrišská in Prague, Czech Republic
  • Furness Fish Market, Borough Market, London, UK
  • Gelateria in the Via Portica in Assisi, Italy
  • Ginger Pig, Borough Market, London, UK
  • Glebe Farm, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Gonzalez Byass Bodega, Jerez, Spain
  • Gracy's Store on Madison Avenue in New York, USA
  • Grand Central Station - Oyster bar
  • Harvest Pride, Santa Monica Farmers' Market, California, USA
  • Havelská Market in Prague, Czech Republic
  • Haymans Fisheries, The Covered Market, Oxford, UK
  • Heath Orchard, The Heath, Bluntisham, Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Hillcrest Farmers' Market, near San Diego, California, USA
  • Hobbs House Bakery in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, UK
  • Hong qiao market in Beijing, China
  • Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain
  • Hotpot restaurant in Beijing, China
  • La Huîtrière, Lille, France
  • ICA Gourmet in Oslo, Norway
  • Jaime Farms of Yucca Valley, Chino, California, USA
  • Kaffeehaus Riquet in Leipzig, Germany
  • Kalustyan's, Lexington Avenue, New York, USA
  • Kik-Bruinisse in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • David A Jennings in Cambridge Market, UK
  • Barbara Lahnstein, Neopol Savory Smokery, Belvedere Square, Baltimore, USA
  • Larder at Burwash Manor, Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Lexington Candy Store, Lexington Avenue, New York, USA
  • Limoncello, Mill Road, Cambridge, UK
  • Liulichan jie, Beijing, China,/li>
  • Jo Living-Moore, Old Passage Inn, Arlingham, Gloucestershire, UK
  • Lisa Elmqvist Butiken, Östermalms Saluhall, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Lobel's, Lexington Avenue, New York, USA
  • La Locanda in Volpaia in Chianti, Italy
  • Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, UK
  • Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall, UK
  • Louis Deli in St Giles Street in Norwich, UK
  • Malmaison in Oxford, UK
  • Market at Almuñecar in Andalucia, Spain
  • Market in Calle Feria, Macarena, Seville, Spain
  • Market in Crete, Greece
  • Market in Luang Prabang in Laos
  • Market at Perigeux, France
  • Markthall, Innsbruck, Austria
  • Chris Marvell
  • Michael Matthew in Cambridge Market, UK
  • Mayfield Organics, Littleport, Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Mediterranean Fish Shop at Dalston Market, London, UK
  • Meert in Lille, France
  • Melanders, Östermalms Saluhall, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Mercado at Etla in Mexico
  • Mercado Juarez in Oaxaca in Mexico
  • Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Mercat Central in Valencia, Spain
  • Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain
  • Mercat de Santa Catarina in Barcelona, Spain
  • Meyerdomo, Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Midsummer House restaurant in Cambridge, UK
  • Migliorelli Farm, Freeborn Lane, Tivoli, NY, USA
  • Mr Gentle's Cool Spot, Belize
  • Mon Panier Mignon, Cambridge, UK
  • Monastir de Pedralbes, Barcelona, Spain
  • Moro in Clerkenwell, London, UK
  • Neil Morrison in Brighton, UK
  • Musumeci in Sydney Fish Market, Australia
  • Nakirubo Market, Kampala, Uganda
  • El Naranjo in Oaxaca in Mexico now very sadly closed
  • Nef Restaurant in Frascati
  • Andrew Northrop, butchers, on Mill Road, Cambridge, UK
  • Oberoi-Philae on the Nile in Egypt
  • Philippe Olivier, Fromagier in Lille, France
  • The Orrery in Marylebone High Street, London, UK
  • Osprey Seafood Market, 1014 Wine Country Avenue, Napa, California, USA
  • Jonathan Overton of Sally Lunn's
  • Pacific Shellfish and Seafood Company in Pacific Beach, California, USA
  • Elaine Pamphilon
  • Parker and Son in Cambridge Market, UK
  • Firma Pasquetto, Markthall Innsbruck, Austria,
  • Steve and Gareth Passey, crêpe-makers extraordinaire, at Strawberry Fair, Cambridge, UK
  • Pasteleria de San Nicholas, Valencia, Spain
  • Pasticceria in Via Portico in Assisi
  • Mr Suresh Patel at Strawberry Fair in Cambridge, UK
  • Antonio Pereira and Maria Fernanda in the Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Steve de Prosse
  • Provincial Museum, Xian, China
  • Pura Vida at Strawberry Fair in Cambridge, UK
  • Ranch Market, Yountville, California, USA
  • Rasa in Stoke Newington in London
  • Rialto Market in Venice, Italy
  • Ristorante Redaelli, Sinalunga, Italy
  • Rosedales, 1129 Lexington Avenue. New York 10021, USA now taken over by Citarella
  • Oscar Russo, Mercato Wagner, Milan
  • San Diego Zoo, California, USA
  • San Lorenzo Food Market in Florence, Italy
  • Santa Monica Farmers' Market, California, USA
  • Steve Sando @ Rancho Gordo in Napa Valley
  • Esmeralda Santas, Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon
  • Savenor's, Charles Street, Beacon Hill, Boston, Mass, USA
  • Seafood@West Main in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
  • Seafood Centre, Galway Bay, Ireland
  • Seafood School, Padstow, Cornwall, UK
  • Jeremy Sewell at Great Bay, Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Mass, USA
  • Arya Sharma and Mahshid Dehghan
  • The Sheep and Wool Centre in Leenane, Galway, Ireland
  • Sheridans Cheese Shop in Galway, Ireland
  • Shushan Valley Hydro-Farm, Juniper Swamp Road, Shushan, NY, USA
  • Lurdes Simðes in the Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Gloucestershire, UK
  • Slindon in West Sussex, UK
  • Stop & Shop, Charles River Plaza, Boston, Mass, USA
  • DW Stowell at Santa Monica Farmers' Market, California, USA
  • Sutton Hoo Chickens, Suffolk, UK
  • Tabboula in Cairo in Egypt
  • Andrew Tann, Crapes Fruit Farm, Rectory Road, Aldham, Colchester, UK
  • Thrupp truckie stop, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK
  • Turnip Distributors at Borough Market, London, UK
  • Union Square Market, New York, USA
  • Urban Farm Shop, Norfolk Street, Cambridge, UK
  • Via Drapperie, Bologna, Italy
  • Villandry in the Loire, France
  • Vishandel Hollemans in Market in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • John Wallis, The Heath, Bluntisham, Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Dominic Walsh for supplying odd mushrooms for photography
  • Wazemmes Market in Lille, France
  • Weiser Farms, Lucerne Valley, California, USA
  • West Dean Gardens, Sussex, UK
  • Wholefood Market in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
  • William's Kitchen, Fountain Street, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, UK
  • Wimpole Hall, Gardeners Philip and Janet, Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Chris Kissak, The Wine Doctor
  • Windrose Farm of Paso Robles in California, USA
  • Michael Young's Fruit & Veg in Cambridge Market, UK
  • Yuno's Farm in Bordentown, New Jersey, USA

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