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So I was in the Atarazanas Market yesterday and saw a couple of tourists looking over the display of various meats in manteca, which for those of you who don’t know are meats preserved in pork lard, often (but not always) coloured and flavoured with paprika. The man even leaned over to smell one of them at which point the vendor came over and said in his best English, “That is pork meat in butter!”.

Trying to be helpful I said to the couple that it was actually lard, not butter. Then I explained to the vendor that he was telling them it was pork in mantequilla (butter), not manteca (lard), and we all helped him with pronouncing this new word. The couple went away happy and the vendor said to me, “So what are you, a teacher?” And then he said, “I always say butter to them and they always understand me perfectly.” Well, I tried…