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13 votes

Equivalent phrase to "Bon Appetit"/"Enjoy (your food)"

Yup. The typical phrase spoken when serving food is qǐng màn yòng (請慢用). It lliterally means "please eat slowly", but is better translated as "enjoy your meal", and serves the same function as the ...
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11 votes

Equivalent phrase to "Bon Appetit"/"Enjoy (your food)"

Like Semaphore said 请慢用 is good for very formal circumstances. In less formal circumstances you can say something like 慢慢吃 - which basically has the same meaning. This can also be used among family ...
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10 votes
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How does 麦 connect 烧麦 (shāomài), a kind of dumpling, with 大麦 (dàmài), 小麦 (xiǎomài), and 燕麦 (yànmài), which are types of grains?

It's nothing to do with 麦 (grains). From wikipedia, 烧卖,又称稍麦、烧麦、捎卖、稍美、干蒸、烧梅、肖米、鬼蓬头。 烧卖及其他与之谐音的名称的来由有多种说法,没有定论。 It's explained a little in the English version. The name was given "捎卖", ...
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9 votes
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How was 辣 used before the Columbian Exchange?

in ancient time, "辛" was used, in lieu of 辣. e.g. in 洪範: 潤下作鹹﹒炎上作苦﹒曲直作酸﹒從革作辛﹒稼穡作甘 http://ctext.org/shang-shu/great-plan/zh?searchu=潤下作鹹,炎上作苦,曲直作酸,從革作辛,稼穡作甘%E3%80%82&searchmode=showall#result ...
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8 votes
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Why is 肯德基 (Kěndéjī) = Kentucky Fried Chicken not called 肯德鸡 (Kěndéjī) when it's pronounced the same and 鸡 means "chicken"?

The full Chinese name of KFC is 肯德基炸鸡, but it was shorten to 肯德基 currently. The word Kentucky, was translated into 肯德基 in Chinese intentionally, in order to distinguish with Kentucky State, while 肯德基 ...
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  • 1,322
8 votes
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How to understand "乒乓大方卜"?

「乒乓大方卜」 refers to a biscuit-product-line name cap ping pong (Malay for ping-pong brand, forming the 「乒乓」 part) and large square thin crackers (「大方薄餅乾」; 「餅乾」 is omitted and 「卜」 is a phonetic ...
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  • 21.1k
7 votes

Is there a word for "kosher"?

The 2010 book "Jews and Judaism in Modern China", by M. Avrum Ehrlich, translates kosher as jieshi. Both the Pleco and KTdict iOS apps also offer 洁食(*jieshi*) as a translation for kosher.
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7 votes
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What does 马大碗 (mǎdàwǎn) = "horse big bowl" mean in 马大碗拉面?

马 means 马氏, the family name. 大碗 - big bowl; large quantity. (马氏)(大碗拉面) The company was established in 1993. It registered the name 马师傅马大碗.
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  • 1,328
7 votes
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Why is a Big Mac called 巨无霸 (jùwúbà)?

https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%B7%A8%E6%97%A0%E9%9C%B8/1226195 巨无霸 (巨毋霸) was a historical character who was famous for being a giant. Later people commonly use '巨无霸' as a nickname for something ...
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6 votes
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What's the difference between 番茄 and 西红柿?

They both mean tomato, In mainland China, 西红柿 is used more often while in Taiwan 番茄 is more used.
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6 votes

How to exclude an ingredient when ordering food?

Any of these sentences would be grammatically correct. However 我要一份青椒肚片不要(加)大蒜 would be a better and more common usage in my opinion. It would be even better to include the character in the ...
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6 votes
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Is this textured bun still "mantou"?

The Chinese mostly call it "花卷" in daily life but you might regard it as a variant of "馒头" as well, if you apply the concept of "馒头" broadly. It's just that it more usually comes with some flavoring ...
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  • 417
6 votes

How was 辣 used before the Columbian Exchange?

'辣' is not a accurate word for the taste that we mean. For example, as the answers above, garlic (大蒜) tastes '辣', ginger (生姜) tastes '辣', and mustard (芥末‌) also tastes '辣'. These three ones are the ...
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  • 272
6 votes
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How should I reply to 吃完了 (chīwánle = "finished eating") after I've finished eating?

You don't really have to give a formal reply. Similar scenario: A Chinese arrives home and sits on his own sofa. His wife may see him and asks "回来了?". It's like "hi" in a specific context. So next ...
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  • 86
6 votes
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Does the word 肉 always mean pork (unless preceded by another word which means a different animal) in Chinese menus?

I worked in restaurants for many years. As I understand it, '肉' in Chinese menus only refers to pork unless it is specifically stated what kind of meat it is. For example: 時菜炒(豬)肉片 = in-season ...
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5 votes
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What's the etymology and significance of yuenyeung (鴛鴦)?

鴛鴦 is actually the name of a bird; more specifically, the mandarin duck. Here's an image: (Look at how cute they are!) In Chinese culture, the mandarin duck is a symbol of lovers, much like ...
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5 votes
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Etymology of 'go dutch'

《懶蟲簡明英漢詞典》 go Dutch verb 各人付自己的帳 Usually, we simply say 各付各的 or 各出各的 in both TC and SC. Others: 各付各的帳 各付一半帳 各付一半賬 各付帳 各人付自己的帳 各人自付錢 各人自己付錢 各自付錢 各自付帳 ...
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  • 1,453
4 votes

What's the difference between 番茄 and 西红柿?

They are different words used by people from different parts of China, just like aubergine and eggplant for English speakers from different regions. This is very common in Chinese,like potatoes(土豆,洋芋,...
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  • 366
4 votes

Chinese name of a dish containing both chicken and egg?

There's no standard Chinese name for the chicken and egg dish! you must know something about the Chinese food and its naming rule (actually there's no strict naming rules, just some conventions) to ...
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  • 545
4 votes

How to exclude an ingredient when ordering food?

if you are speaking Cantonese, you can use 我要一份青椒肚片‘走’蒜。 in English it's something like take it off.
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  • 369
4 votes
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How does 甘梅地瓜 mean sweet potato fries?

甘 = sweet 梅 = plum 地瓜 = sweet potato From the photo, "Fried Sweet Potato with sweet plum powder" Edit: Thanks for others' correction.... 地瓜 may also mean other types of potato or other taro, ...
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  • 2,421
4 votes

Why do some overseas Chinese restaurants translate broccoli as "芥蘭"?

Apparently they categorise 芥蘭 and 西蘭花 as the same species… of different cultivar groups… although they do not at all taste in any way similar. For Chinese 芥蘭 and 西蘭花 are two completely different ...
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  • 301
4 votes

Why do some overseas Chinese restaurants translate broccoli as "芥蘭"?

I'm from Taiwan. And just for the record, I'm not exactly a botanist nor a experienced cook. But as far as I know: We call and 芥藍(蘭)菜. While we call and 花椰菜/花菜/青花菜. We don't really use the term ...
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4 votes

Is there a distinction between 肉夹馍 (ròujiāmó) and 馍夹肉 (mójiāròu)?

The second is just right-to-left writing. See Horizontal_and_vertical_writing_in_East_Asian_scripts . Historically, Chinese was written in vertical columns, with columns progressing from right to ...
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4 votes
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Are 根 (gēn) and 条 (tiáo) both measure words for 油条 (yóutiáo)?

I think the main reason is that 油条 already includes the character 条, so to avoid double use, we say 一根油条. This is the same as we say 一根面条,一根薯条,一根木条,...
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4 votes

What is a polite way to ask to 打包 (dǎbāo) "take away" my meal? Is 我想打包 acceptable?

You could say any of the following: 麻煩打包,謝謝。 我要打包,麻煩(你)幫我拿盒子,謝謝。 Usually I get asked whether I will be packing the leftovers. Me: (indicate I’m ready for the bill) Waiter: 好的,要打包嗎? Me: 要,謝謝。
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