What noise does that animal make?

I’m 23 years old and, until a few days ago, I was pretty sure I had animal noises down pat. Any 3 year old can tell you what sound a dog makes, or a cow, a horse, a sheep – any farm animal for that matter. Old Macdonald’s farm right?


E – I – E – I – O

Well my perception of reality has now been changed forever. One of the first things I learned as a child has been but a partial truth. Apparently animal speak is not universal. Sheep of Spanish-speaking countries do not say the same thing as sheep of English-speaking countries.

The following is a list of English to Spanish animal sound translations for your information (and your entertainment)


Baa = Bee


Moo = Muu


Woof = Guau


Meow = Miau

Chick (baby chicken)

Cheep = Pio


Ribbit = Croac


Gobble = Glu


Cockadoodledoo (Which is seriously ridiculous! Who even thought of that?!) = Quiquiriquí

Obviously these look silly when written down, especially if you aren’t familiar with Spanish pronunciation, but when spoken, these sounds do sound like they belong to the animal (well, except for the rooster).

Beans and Pasta

A Vegetarian in Chile: Part 6 Porotos con Riendas

So after my unfortunate encounter with meat the other day, I’m gladly sharing with you another chapter from the Vegetarian in Chile series. This week we’ve been having a taste of Concepción’s infamous rainy winters. And I don’t know about you, but when the weather turns cold and miserable, I turn to hot and hearty comfort food.

Beans and Pasta

There is absolutely no way you can go wrong with this combination. Just don’t forget to cook it

Porotos con Riendas is the ultimate meal for winter comfort. It will knock you out for the count. Do not expect to eat this and then be able to do much after. It is advisable not to eat Porotos con Riendas if you need to drive or operate heavy machinery. Think thick vegetable soup packed full of hearty beans and…wait for it…spaghetti! So if you’re struggling to pick between pasta and soup to warm the belly (this is actually a major challenge for me – first world problems), then look no further.

Porotos con Riendas cooked

You don’t want too much pasta. It’s called Porotos con Riendas, not Reindas con Porotos.

Any sort of white bean should do for this recipe, like navy bean or cannelloni. They have different types here in Chile, we picked some dried beans up from the market the other day. They had about 5 or 6 different kinds of white bean alone!


  • 3 cups dried white beans, soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight
  • Some spaghetti, about a quarter of a packet. I used spinach flavoured spaghetti because that’s all we had in the house, but good old white pasta will do.
  • Half an onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced or crushed
  • 1 cup pumpkin, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • Handful of red capsicum just for the colour, roughly chopped
  • Tablespoon oregano
  • Teaspoon cumin
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • About a tablespoon of olive oil, butter, manteca (lard) – what ever flavour you prefer (I used butter and olive oil!) – for frying
  • Salt and pepper


Sautee the onion and the garlic in the olive oil/ butter/ manteca in a large pot over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the spices, pumpkin and capsicum and continue to fry for a few more minutes to release all those flavours. Drain the beans and add them to the pot, stirring through. Add the stock cube and enough boiling water to cover the beans by about 2 cm. Cook over low heat with the lid on until the beans and pumpkin are soft, then add the spaghetti. Continue to cook until the pasta is al dente and serve hot.