IKEA’s horns of a dilemma – elk horns, naturally

A rutting male Elk

A rutting male elk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First we had the horse meat scandal, now we have the elk lasagne scandal. Swedish furniture company IKEA has withdrawn almost 18,000 of its elk meat lasagnas because some were found to contain a little bit of pork. Dear oh deer! You can read about it in English here. Bernardo, never having lived in elk territory, was rather surprised to learn that elk lasagne even existed. So that’s what IKEA does in its kitchens! He can’t help wondering if IKEA makes furniture from the poor elks too – the antlers, for example, might make a nice hat stand or something to hang your coat on. Curious to learn more, particularly when food is involved, Bernardo decided to bone up on elks. It seems they were originally thought to be related to deer, but now it is believed they are not, but they are related to moose. That is reflected in the five romances languages that are the subject of this blog. The French word for both elk and moose is élan, and in Romanian it is elan without the accent. The Portuguese, Spanish and Italian words for both elk and moose is alce. (Spanish also seems to have aupati for elk and ante for moose).

Their words for deer are quite different. French has cerf or cervidé – depending on the type of species, I suppose; Portuguese has cervo, veado or gamo; Spanish offers ciervo or venado; Italian also uses cervo or daino; and Romanian has three – cerbcăprioară and cerblopătar. These words are all masculine.

So, Bernardo concludes, elk meat must be a kind of venison, and perhaps it is not as bad as it sounds, for he remembers eating biltong from animals such as kudu in his rough and wild days in southern Africa, and it was certainly good biltong. That was when he had good teeth and could chew on tough dried meat.

Elk Shank with Beet & Polenta

Elk Shank with Beet & Polenta (Photo credit: Renée S. Suen)

The thought of all that IKEA elk lasagne going to waste must have made Bernardo’s tummy rumble and his mouth water, for in his dreams an exotic waiter in a foreign country pulled up a chair for him at a three hat restaurant, tucked a napkin under his chin and offered him the menu. Bernardo then sneakily used a well-known language translation app so that he could enunciate his order: “Waiter! For the entrée I will have the fragrant poached deer with pink turnips, organic curtain rods, sautéed Allen keys and house soured cream; for the main dish I will plumb for your famous elk lasagne in a creamy Billy Bookcase sauce, accompanied by a salad of albino baby beetroots and swedes perfumed with prune kernel oil; and for dessert I will have a double helping of the mountain moose mousse drizzled with lingonberry compote, salted caramel and ethereal sheets and pillowcases. Oh, and last but not least, bring us your best bottle of elderberry wine from your cellar, damn the expense! Cheers.”

Here are the translations:

To the exotic French waiter: Waiter, pour le plat je vais avoir le cerf poché parfumé aux navets roses, tringles à rideaux organiques, clés Allen sautés et maison crème aigre; pour le plat principal, je vais aplomb pour votre fameuse lasagne de wapitis dans une sauce à la Bibliothèque Billy crémeux, accompagné d’un salade de betteraves albinos de bébé et les Suédois parfumé à l’huile de noyau de pruneau; et pour le dessert, je vais avoir une double ration de l’orignal mousse de montagne arrosé avec airelle compote, caramel salé et des draps et des taies d’oreiller éthérées. Oh, et ​​last but not least, nous apporter votre meilleure bouteille de vin de sureau de votre cave, au diable les dépenses! Vive.

Lingonberry Mousse Cake

Lingonberry Mousse Cake (Photo credit: su-lin)

To the exotic Portuguese waiter: Garçom, para o prato principal, terei o veado cozido perfumado com nabos rosa, hastes de cortina orgânicos, chaves Allen salteados e casa de natas azedas; pois o prato principal, eu vou sondar para sua lasanha alce famoso em um cremoso molho estante Billy, acompanhado por um salada de beterrabas albino do bebê e os suecos perfumados com óleo de semente de ameixa; e para a sobremesa eu vou ter uma porção dobrada do alce mousse montanha regados com compota de mirtilo vermelho, caramelo salgado e folhas etéreas e fronhas. Ah, e por último, mas não menos importante, trazer-nos a sua melhor garrafa de vinho de sabugueiro de sua adega, maldita a despesa! Felicidades.

To the exotic Spanish waiter: Camarero, para el plato principal que tendrá el ciervo poché fragante con nabos de color rosa, barras de cortina orgánicos, llaves Allen salteadas y casa de crema agria; porque el plato principal yo plomada para su famosa lasaña alce en una cremosa salsa de Billy Biblioteca, acompañado de un ensalada de remolachas y nabos albino bebé perfumados con aceite de semilla de ciruela pasa; y de postre voy a tener una doble ración de los alces mousse montaña rociados con compota de arándano rojo, salados caramelo y hojas etéreas y fundas de almohada. Ah, y por último pero no menos importante, nos traen su mejor botella de vino de saúco de su bodega, maldita costa! Saludos.

Wine Goblets Berry Wine Contemporary Daisies

Wine Goblets Berry Wine Contemporary Daisies (Photo credit: creativespiritoriginals)

To the exotic Italian waiter: Cameriere, per l’entrée avrò il cervo in camicia profumata con le rape rosa, aste per tende organici, chiavi a brugola e saltate casa panna acida; per il piatto principale io a piombo per la famosa lasagne alce in una salsa cremosa Libreria Billy, accompagnato da un insalata di barbabietole albino bambino e gli svedesi profumate con olio di nocciolo di prugna; e per dessert avrò una doppia porzione del alci mousse montagna insaporita con fumante composta, caramello salato e lenzuola eteree e federe. Oh, e, ultimo ma non meno importante, ci portano la tua migliore bottiglia di vino di sambuco dalla vostra cantina, dannazione la spesa! Saluti.

To the exotic Romanian waiter: Chelner, pentru entrée voi avea cerb fiert aromat cu napi roz, tije cortina organice, chei sote Allen și casa crema acrit; pentru felul principal voi plumb pentru dvs. lasagna elan celebru într-o cremă Billy sos Bibliotecă, însoțită de o salată de sfeclă albinoși copii și suedezii parfumat cu ulei de sambure de prune; și pentru desert, voi avea o dubla portie de elan spuma munte stropit cu merișoare de munte compot, sărate caramel și foi eterice și fețe de pernă. Oh, și nu în ultimul rând, să ne aducă cele mai bune sticla de vin de soc de la pivniță dumneavoastră, la naiba cheltuieli! Noroc.

I hope you will join me for the meal. If it’s from IKEA we will have to assemble it ourselves. Cheers 🙂


4 thoughts on “IKEA’s horns of a dilemma – elk horns, naturally

  1. You mention the horse meat scandal. Horse meat in pies!! What about the chap who cut open his pie – and out flew four and twenty blackbirds!!



    Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2013 17:17:42 +0000 To: malachy1@live.co.uk

  2. Often wondered at the IKEA meatballs – always did taste a little different to what i was used to both in texture & flavour. Never did check what meat it was – always just assumed it was beef – as all meat was in the old SA!! This Lasagne talk has made me think a little …
    Oh by the way we are eating a lasagne tonight – beef with organic salad. Perhaps I will strech to making a garlic loaf as well!

    • Well, now you know! You will be surprised at the ingredients of some of the foods and drinks on sale. When I was in New Zealand last week they told me about a great lemonade that was made there called Lemon & Paeroa – better known as L&P. But now it is owned by Coca-Cola and when I bought a bottle I saw there was no actual lemon in the drink. It was labelled as having “lemonish stuff”. Your dinner sounds great, how are you at making Bechemel sauce?

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