Friday, August 13, 2010

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and… lettuce?

Have you purchased your children’s school uniform shirts yet?

If so, you may have been surprised to come across the oddly-named chultzah Amerika’it (חולצה אמריקאית).

Literally, an “American shirt,” the term refers to what’s popularly known in the States as a baseball shirt (i.e. a t-shirt with raglan sleeves).

Veteran olim will no doubt recognize this as yet another instance of the Israeli predilection for referring to some of the most unlikely things as “American”.

Other classic examples include:

  • Mivchan Amerika’i (מבחן אמריקאי) - multiple choice test
  • Vafel Amerika’i (ופל אמריקאי) - waffle
  • Glidah Amerika’it (גלידה אמריקאית) - soft ice cream
  • Chassah Amerika’it (חסה אמריקאית) - iceberg lettuce

But before my fellow Anglos and I start making fun of this admittedly-amusing tendency, we should perhaps recall all the times we naively dined on delicacies such as “French” toast, “English” muffins, or "Israeli" couscous


Please leave your own examples of so-called “American” items and products in the comment section.

!שבת שלום ומבורך


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  2. בוטנים אמריקאים I don't think I ever saw nuts like that in America

  3. I've seen those kipot where the entire kipa is patterned called a kipa americait. That one was really bizarre, I thought. But then, they're all bizarre :)

  4. Yaffa - Good one, because AFAIR, chocolate is the only thing used to cover peanuts in the States... :-)

    Toby - "But then, they're all bizarre"
    LOL! :-)

  5. I've never heard of an American kipa, I've been crocheting them for years and they've always been called kipot shati'ach (carpet kipas).

    In Israel, anyone who speaks English is an American, including my British husband, South African neighbor and Australian cousin.

    When I was on kibbutz in 1980 and again in 1981 the Israeli kids we hung out with called Taster's Choice type coffee American coffee.

  6. i absolutely love and adore this kind of thing! it *always* makes me smile! my husband travelled to china for work and the delicious, exquisite food that he tried was nothing like what we'd call "chinese food" here-- nothing fried and no rice in sight! excellent post, mrs. s!

  7. Miriyummy - An Israeli from across the street originally thought I was English, not American. Meanwhile, a different Israeli from across the street used to think that our English neighbor was American... :-)

    Minnesota Mamaleh - Thanks for your kind words! "Chinese" food is a great example of what I'm talking about..

    Ilana-Davita - Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  8. So what do they call Boston lettuce?

  9. Ariella - Good question! I wonder if Boston lettuce is even available here?


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