One of the frustrations in learning a second language is knowing only ONE way to say things, and not being able to easily rephrase.
Background: I am allergic to MSG, and have found that it frequently occurs in (Americanized) Mexican food because it's in the sauce. We went to a local Mexican restaurant last night, and I asked the waiter this:
¿Cuáles selecciones no tienen glutamato monosódico?
Tengo alergias a glutamato monosódico.
This only got me "No entiendo" and "¿Qué es'," so I tried:
--Unas salsas tienen glutamato monosódico, no lo puedo comer.
--¿Sabe el cocinero?
None of this worked (and neither did English), so I would like to have any suggestions for alternative (clearer / better / just plain different) ways to ask the same thing. (In English I would say, "Which items are MSG-free'")
How would you say, "MSG is a flavor enhancer added to pre-made meats and sauces."?
Finally, what would be the most polite way to ask the waiter to ask the cook my question?
P.S. The waiter rephrased my "alergias" as "alergica," not sure why . . .