I once had an experience similar to Craig's original post. My wife and I went to Paris with our daughter many years ago. I think she was 11 at the time. We had made dinner reservations at a wonderful little restaurant called Le Florimond
, which was close to our hotel. They had a prix fixe menu where you could select appetizer, entree, and cheese/dessert. One of the entrees was "crepinette de veau." My daughter asked what that was. My limited French interpreted this as being some sort of small savory crepe made with veal. Well, she thought that sounded delicious.
When the waiter came to take our order, she asked for the crepinette de veau.
The waiter cocked an eyebrow and looked at my wife and I.
"Young lady," he asked her in English, "Are you sure you would like the crepinette? It is a sweetbread, you know."
This really made her eyes light up. All she heard were the words "sweet" and "bread" - two of her favorite foods. In her mind I'm sure she was picturing a pastry. I, of course, heard something completely different.
I looked at her and said, "Honey, I don't think you would like sweetbreads."
"Why wouldn't I? I think it sounds good. Yes, I think I would like the sweet bread." she insisted.
I said "okay then. Sweetbreads, it is."
The waiter shrugged and took the order. I ordered steak medallions and my wife ordered fish.
When the small chalky sort of things arrived (thankfully covered in gravy), the look on her face was priceless. I explained that it was probably brains, but, since she had been so insistent on ordering it, she needed to at least try it.
I have to give her credit for being brave. She ate three bites before deciding she didn't like it and putting down her fork.
I ended up giving her most of my steak, and I finished the crepinette, which was actually quite delicious.
To this day, she is a relatively adventurous eater, but has gotten much better at asking questions when there is something she doesn't quite understand.