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Why are so many menus written in code?

Deciding what to order when you’re out for a meal shouldn’t require a degree in semiotics or the interrogation skills of a special forces agent. Why can’t a menu just describe the food?
ILLUSTRATION: ISTOCK

If I learned anything from Horsegate 2013, it’s that I really don’t like the wool being pulled over my eyes when it comes to food. I want to know exactly what I’m eating. So why is the task of decoding contemporary restaurant menus akin to a stint at Bletchley Park? Some have become so opaque, they’re not even menus any more – more like word association games.

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About delicious. Magazine

Celebrate spring with delicious. magazine this April. Enjoy Felicity Cloake’s perfect menu, Valentine Warner’s gin-based recipes, The Ivy’s classic shepherd’s pie, cheese-free vegetarian recipes and top curries from around the world. For baking inspiration, try Mary Berry’s afternoon tea, Chetna Makan’s pistachio and cardamom cake or a zesty lemon scone. And to top everything, there’s a 16-page bread special with our 10 best bread recipes.