Posts Tagged ‘cookies’


Monday, June 13th, 2011

No big surprises from the Turkish parliamentary elections yesterday, but I did want to share my favorite item of pre-election news: a speech in which the leader of the far-right nationalist party mispronounced bisküvi (biscuit) as püskevit. I’ve been trying to think of how to translate püskevit to convey the right effect.  Piscuit?  Bisguit?  Bisguat? In the speech he is saying something like, “Children watch TV commercials, they see smiling children eating chocolate and piscuit, and they think: ‘if only I had chocolate – if only I had piscuit!  Mother, get me chocolate!  Get me piscuit!’”

Within days/ hours, there was a puskevit.com site online (it shows a screenshot of the entry for “biscuit” in the Turkish Language Institute dictionary) and a number of “püskevit remixes” (my favorite here).

The nationalists subsequently announced that “püskevit” was a regional (Adana/ Osmaniye) pronunciation, and that a popular snack food (“Anatolian fast-food”) back in the day was a sandwich made with two biscuits and a piece of Turkish delight (lokum).  It’s not totally clear to me whether the idea is that “püskevit” was the Adana word for the biscuit-lokum sandwich, or, as seems more likely, just the word for biscuits in general; in any case, this sandwich, under the name “püskevit,” rapidly became a standard snack at nationalist rallies. Püskevit pride was also (re)awakened in Adana where, according to a local locum maker, this noble snack was once served at weddings and on Mohammed’s birthday:



Tolstoy or Dostoevsky?

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
Thanks to Georgia Cool for alerting to me to the Greats of Russian Literature Represented in Gingerbread!  They are the work of Woolylogic, who is a Dostoevsky fan, as you can maybe tell from the hand protectively enclosing Fyodor Mikhailovich’s turbulent, idea-filled head.  


Thursday, August 14th, 2008

This story begins last Friday, when I went to the Stanford library to check out some books about the Musin-Pushkin family.  (I think I might write a novel about someone who is obsessed with the Musin-Pushkins.)  And let me tell you, it took a long time to round up all those books.  My webmaster can confirm this since he was waiting for me outside, drinking espressos and getting really bored. 

Then when I finally got to the check-out desk, I got stuck behind a crazy old lady in a bright red Chanel suit and matching lipstick, who not only checked out like a million books but also prolonged the transaction with a 10-minute commentary about how she will only read books whose call numbers start with PR, because they “come from the Commonwealth.”  “Forbearance,” I counseled myself: “Someday you, too, may be a crazy old lady who is obsessed with call numbers.”