Today I bring you a new expression that I have recently come across in an Argentine advertisement. The product that is being advertised is a “flan“, which is a dessert similar to a custard. And the expression used in this ad is “estar al horno está bueno“. Here’s the video:
This kind of dessert is very common in the River Plate area. You can have it with dulce de leche (remember?), with cream, or with both of them (and that’s called “flan mixto“). Yummy!
So this is the text from the video:
¿Vacaciones con tus suegros? ¡Descanso para tu billetera! Estar al horno está bueno. Te lo dice el flan casero Sancor, que ya estuvo ahí, para que vos disfrutes el verdadero sabor casero y mucho más.
And here is a quick translation:
Going on holiday with your parents-in-law? Your wallet will get a break! “Being in the oven” is good. The home-made flan Sancor tells you so, as it has already been there, so that you can enjoy the real home-made flavour and much more.
Side note: Remember when we talked about the aspiration of the letter “s” on a previous entry? In these four sentences, there are seven instances of that kind of aspiration. Can you spot them?
Alright, but what does “being in the oven” mean then? Well, if we are talking about a cake, for instance, of course it can be literally inside an oven. But in a figurative sense, when someone “está en el horno” or “está al horno“, it means that they are in trouble or have to deal with a difficult situation.
In this particular case, it is assumed that spending your holiday with your partner’s parents can be tough. But the silver lining seems to be that they will be paying for certain things, so you won’t have to spend so much money in the end: your wallet will get a rest. That’s why being in trouble can be good, or “estar al horno ESTÁ BUENO“. And since this product has already been (literally) inside an oven, it can say first-hand that being there is good and, thanks to that, you’ll be savouring a delicious dessert.
These are two pics from the same ad campaign that show other situations where this phrase can be used. Can you guess why someone would “estar en el horno” in such cases?
Apparently, doing the dishes and eating soup have both a bad reputation! But hey, as long as you can eat this flan, it’s alright! Or at least that’s how marketing seems to work.
So next time you are sitting for an exam, paying your bills, or getting late to work, you now know that you can say “¡estoy en el horno!” and feel like a true rioplatófono. 😉