[Reposted on Chineasy.com]
The English translations of these Chinese vegetable words range from absurd to adorable. I’ve listed the Chinese character, the pronunciation, the English word, and the literal translation.
卷心菜 [juǎn xīn cài] – cabbage (literally, “swirling heart vegetable”)
菠萝 [bō luó] – pineapple (“spinach radish”)
Huh? Maybe pineapple and spinach plants appear similar in the ground.
灯笼椒 [dēng lóng jiāo]- bell pepper (“lantern pepper”)
芦笋 [lú sǔn] – asparagus (“bamboo reeds”)
羽衣甘蓝 [yǔ yī gān lán]－kale (“feather dress cabbage”)
西兰花 [xī lán huā] – broccoli (“western orchid”)
Ever seen the yellow flowers on a broccoli plant? They don’t look like “orchids”, but they are pretty nonetheless.
黄瓜 [huáng guā]- cucumber (“yellow melon”)
Native Chinese cucumbers are yellow! The word “yellow melon” describes all types of cucumber, including the traditional green.
抱子甘蓝 [bào zǐ gān lán] – brussel sprouts (“hugging cabbage”)
Brussel sprout plants look like a bunch of tiny cabbages hugging each other.
西红柿 [xī hóng shì] – tomato (“western red persimmon”)
土豆 [tǔ dòu] – potato (“earth bean”)
I, too, am an earth bean.
鳄梨 [È lí] – avocado (“alligator pear”)
朝鲜蓟 [cháo xiǎn jì] – artichoke (“royal fresh thistle”)
玉米 [yù mǐ] – corn (“jade rice”)
豆腐 [dòu fu]- tofu (“bean decay”)
[Images courtesy of Google.]