The bean counters decided one day that every restaurant in the system was to run a French menu for a week. Fine I said, so I made up a menu... in ENGLISH! Someone upstairs decided it needed to be worded in French so they plugged in the translater and turned it into French! It was a total flop. The waitstaff couldn't pronounce French and felt really stupid describing the items. I'm no Frenchman but the translations were so horrible that I was embarassed to be affiliated with them. For example, "Mousse de Chocolat" for Chocolate mousse? :confused:
Our culinary lexicon is there for a purpose. Sometimes native foods are best described in their original language and the results are mostly positive. Terms like tandoori and schnitzel have been in our vocabulary for years don't seem out of place when used in a sentence. OTOH, lutefisk should be lutefisk ;) and baloot should be baloot! (duck fetus in shell, like we need to know)
There are some times when the introduction of something new requires a whole new vocabulary. "Confit of Salmon" might send the French into a frenzy. One might think that this were Salmon cooked and preserved in its own fat! The English sometimes refer to jam as a confiture. Strawberry confit what?!? Strawberries cooked in fat? No, strawberries cooked and preserved in their own juices.
The division of linguistic labor seems to have fallen into the hands of chefs. We need to be very careful what we say on menus. In America we have this convention of making the description part of the name. No longer do we create classics named Caesar Salad or Crepes Suzette. Now, thanks to the Troisgros brothers, we have "Cotelettes de porc sauce confuse" which, in 1978, was mistaken by the Chinese to have something to do with Con***ius!
Whether we like it or not, we are introducing new usages into our American vocabulary. We are, as they say in lingoland, expert users of the language. In this case, the language encompasses the entire gamut of culinary terms. Of course, no one is fluent in French, English, Spanish, Urdu, Cantonese, Tagalog, and Afrikaans at the same time, but neither are all scientists experts in Greek, Latin, and Southern. I feel we can use non-American terms. We just have to be very careful of what we speak, lest mislead the Wolves to the Sheep.