Friends of ours, who are French, came by for dinner and brought a mousse for dessert, to be complimented with these:
Which my high school French immediately translated to: Tongue of the cat?!? Surely this could not be correct? But Mr. Google and his favorite Niece, G. Translate confirmed, these are a Real Thing. Not only a Real Thing, but something everyone else in the world seems to know about. Cat Tongues.
Feeling all smugly international at my ability to smash through the language barrier with naught but a few near-failing years of High School French, I doggedly (ha! get it?) attacked the body copy:
“Ah tiens on ne l’avait pas dé jà donné?”
Which translated roughly to, "Oh, didn't we already give it?"
I headed over to one of the forums I haunting (a knitting one) and asked for some translation help.
Bear with me as I try to explain this one: The French expression ‘to give the cat your tongue’ (donner sa langue au chat) means to give up; it's used to indicate that you don't know the answer, you can't think of anything else and have no idea what it is that another person is trying to make you guess. Versus the American English expression "Cat got your tongue?" which means to be tongue-tied, or unable to respond.
So here the French phrase is (apparently, and I am happy to have someone else offer more insight into this linguistic log jam) meant to be a pun using the name of the biscuit.
Meaning something like: ‘Oh really? Didn’t we already give it?’ or, "didn’t we already give up?". My French experts on the knitting web-site basically said, "Well, it doesn't actually mean anything, it's just kind of funny. But enjoy the biscuits, they are yummy!"
This is what one gets for leveraging knitting relationships for translation advice, as opposed to actually asking any of my French friends. The biscuits were delish, dry, and crumbly in that full of butter shortbread kind of way, although lighter than a true shortbread.
Interestingly enough, my search for learning more about French Cat Tongues lead to the discovery of the German version:
Chocolate covered! Superior, one imagines. Although, wait, when you put it all together, you get chocolate covered cat tongue? Maybe not.
At the end of the day, while tasty, the animal-part naming thing is just a tiny bit off-putting.
Good thing the English language doesn't have cookies named after animal limbs. Right?
PS: In French, if you are interested, Lady Fingers are called: Biscuits à la cuillère or "Spoon cookies," so no reference to body parts, human or animal.
Next: Maybe Easter (although, maybe not; of topics, I have many, many. Of time to write, a bit less at the moment)