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Common Food Mispronunciations and Misnomers

Mexican

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#31 ambra

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:19 PM

I've had people correct me with "brushetta" as well. very annoying. Although it often tastes as bad as it's being pronounced. :wink:

#32 cmling

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:30 PM

For post-graduates: Aloxe-Corton.
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#33 Alex

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:51 PM

Actually, the New Oxford American Dictionary says that either pronouncation is correct...

-------------------

And thank you for the Hindi pronounciation lesson, Jenni.

Oops. That's pronunciation. Sorry.
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#34 IndyRob

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 02:04 PM

How about Noilly Prat? I've never even attempted pronouncing it since I was pretty sure that with my pidgeon French I'd be wrong in any event. A quick search seems to reveal some disagreement.

#35 Hassouni

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 02:20 PM

Nwa-yee Prah (French R again)

#36 andiesenji

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:15 PM

Also, to be pedantic, gyro is pronounced hhhyee-roh (like hero, with a y thrown in). But that's really hard to do, so we'll go with yee-roh.



And there are also slight regional variations. The folks at the Greek restaurant here in Lancaster are not shy about telling people how the things on the menu are pronounced.

They tell customers to pronounce it yearr-oh, with a slight roll to the r. They are from the northern part of Greece.
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#37 Snadra

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:29 PM


I'd be happy if all Americans would learn to say "coupon" correctly.



Caramel.

Care - a - mel.
Three (3) syllables.

NOT "carmuhl"


Must admit these, along with "erbs" instead of "Herbs" are the three americanisms in food that really grate on me.


My mother (a French Canadian) and most of the people I grew up around up (not French of any sort) dropped the H when talking about herbs, and I have always thought it might have been a French influence, especially after I came here and heard Aussies pronouncing the T in fillets. In my part of North America, at least, the word is said more like "fil-lays".

The grate can work in both directions! :biggrin:

#38 cmling

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:33 PM

Fillets = fillets; filets = filays?
Just a suggestion (and naturally for the sake of argument).
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#39 cmling

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:37 PM

Happened to me too, with tournedos.
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#40 GlorifiedRice

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:48 PM

Espresso

NEVER

EXpresso
Wawa Sizzli FTW!

#41 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:55 PM

For post-graduates: Aloxe-Corton.


a-LO-ss cor-TON. Follows the same rules as Freixenet.
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#42 cmling

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 05:13 PM

Very good!
Although I cannot aver that the x in Aloxe and in Freixinet should be pronounced identically; I actually have serious doubts.
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#43 ChrisZ

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 05:13 PM

Botrytis stops me in my tracks. (bot-rye-tiss?)
mille feuille draws a blank. (mill fuel?)
mange tout has always mystified me (mangy touts are people hawking tickets outside football games)
poffertjes is more difficult to pronounce than 'Dutch pancakes'
celeriac always comes out as 'celery-ack'

and I'll never get used to the UK pronunciation of yoghurt, where the 'yog' rhymes with 'jog'. In Australia the 'yo' is pronounced as in 'yo-yo'.

#44 cmling

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 05:26 PM

Bot-rye-tiss sounds right to me.
Meel-foi - as a somewhat ugly approximation.
Charles Milton Ling
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#45 Prawncrackers

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 06:24 PM

I generally think it's commendable when English speakers attempt to pronounce food items with their original flavour. For example Spanish Paella with the double "ll" sounding like a "y" or Chorizo with the "z" sounding like a slurred "th". It kinda distinguishes those who really care about the origin of they're eating, the culture behind it and those that don't. These words don't exist in the English language so it's obvious to adopt the native way of saying them.

For me, the peculiar thing is with those French terms that because of the legacy of French culinary tradition we tend to mangle in English. Why say "filay" when we mean fillet? It's a fillet, that's the English word for it. Are we trying to impress the listener when we say it say with with a suave sounding "fi-lay"?

When we cook Italian food I suppose it's acceptable to use arugula and parmigiana, it's gives the impression that what we're cooking has that authentic Italian credo that is so important. But personally I like to use the perfectly good English words for them, rocket and parmesan. I know it's a not a pronunciation issue but it leads me to the one word that really gets my goat: headcheese!! Why oh why is this word in use, Fromage du Tete I can understand but to translate this directly into headcheese seems like a linguistic abortion to me when there is perfectly good English word for it; Brawn.

#46 Jaymes

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:20 PM

I once ordered "broo-SKEH-tah" only to have the waiter kindly 'correct' me, saying, "Oh, you'd like the broo-SHE-tah?"


That's the worst, isn't it? When they "correct" you, with a superior air? Frankly, I'd resent that, even if I were wrong.

This particular thing happened to me not long ago. Of course, if you actually say "BrooSKEHtah," you get "corrected" a lot. But not usually in so haughty a manner as a few weeks back. The waiter was positively condescending as he stressed, loudly so that people at the next table actually looked over..."It's 'brooSHETTa.' Would you like some 'brooSHETTa'?"

To which I responded, "Oh, do you ever put zooSHEENEE on it? And I think I'll have a glass of SHEE-an-tee with my meal tonight."

But the one that really gets me is the "hal-a-PEE-no." It's such a common ingredient now. Seems like folks could have picked up on the correct pronunciation ages ago.
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#47 David A. Goldfarb

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:02 PM

I think I know how to pronounce all the words and expressions listed in FG's first post, but I'm a firm adherent of carml, erbs, and kyewpons. I remember thinking growing up that people who said "koopon" were effete whitebread types, likely to refer to pop as "soda."

#48 Jaymes

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:47 PM

I remember thinking growing up that people who said "koopon" were effete whitebread types, likely to refer to pop as "soda."


As opposed to us southerners. Who would refer to all pop as "cokes." And even waitresses in the south would ask, "What kind of coke do you want? We've got Pepsi, Root Beer, Sprite and Orange Drank."
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#49 Snadra

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:02 PM

.....

For me, the peculiar thing is with those French terms that because of the legacy of French culinary tradition we tend to mangle in English. Why say "filay" when we mean fillet? It's a fillet, that's the English word for it. Are we trying to impress the listener when we say it say with with a suave sounding "fi-lay"?

When we cook Italian food I suppose it's acceptable to use arugula and parmigiana, it's gives the impression that what we're cooking has that authentic Italian credo that is so important. But personally I like to use the perfectly good English words for them, rocket and parmesan. I know it's a not a pronunciation issue but it leads me to the one word that really gets my goat: headcheese!! Why oh why is this word in use, Fromage du Tete I can understand but to translate this directly into headcheese seems like a linguistic abortion to me when there is perfectly good English word for it; Brawn.


Well, personally I always said erbs and fi-lay because who wants to annoy a short, angry french-canadian woman who has access to farming implements when you're stuck in the canadian backwoods?

More seriously, this is probably more about the divergence of the English language on different continents than correct pronunciation. I'm not sure that the use of erbs and fi-lay are always about sounding posh - some of the least posh people I know use those pronunciations in North America. I never hear that pronunciation here. Arugula vs rocket: I think it's about how it came to be introduced into the local language - again, it's rocket here. Headcheese is a perfectly acceptable word, descended no doubt from its German forebear Presskopf - and, yes, it's called brawn here. However, Parmigiana I'll agree with, because parmesan was in use for a long time before parmigiana became vogueish.

#50 bmdaniel

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:20 PM

Erbs, fi-lay and arugula are just the correct pronunciations in the US; it's like toilet/loo

#51 Alex

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:34 PM


For post-graduates: Aloxe-Corton.


a-LO-ss cor-TON. Follows the same rules as Freixenet.


Very good!
Although I cannot aver that the x in Aloxe and in Freixinet should be pronounced identically; I actually have serious doubts.

You're correct, Charles. Freixenet is is a Cava (i.e., Spanish), so the "x" is pronounced as "sh".
Gene Weingarten, writing in The Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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#52 Hassouni

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 01:21 AM

Botrytis stops me in my tracks. (bot-rye-tiss?)
mille feuille draws a blank. (mill fuel?)
mange tout has always mystified me (mangy touts are people hawking tickets outside football games)
poffertjes is more difficult to pronounce than 'Dutch pancakes'
celeriac always comes out as 'celery-ack'

and I'll never get used to the UK pronunciation of yoghurt, where the 'yog' rhymes with 'jog'. In Australia the 'yo' is pronounced as in 'yo-yo'.


mille feuille - meel fuh-ee, sort of (hard to describe this vowel if you don't speak French or a language with an ö sort of sound)

mange tout - mahnzh too, sort of. the n is not really an n but a nasalisation of the vowel. think "think:" you don't say thin-k. zh is like the s in measure, or as in Brezhnev, or indeed the French j or soft g

poffertjes - not totally sure, but I think based on my understanding of Dutch phonetics that it's close to "pofferches"

celeriac is like celery-ack but with the accent on the LE not the CE, so ceLEriac

As for yogurt or yoghurt, arguably the American pronunciation is closer to the original Turkish yoğurt (yo-urrt). In rural dialects of Turkish and other Turkic languages the ğ is pronounced as a throaty g, similar to a French or German r

Also one mispronounce ALL THE TIME is orgeat. it's "or-zhaa" again with that French soft g/j sound. Hint: it's etymologically related to horchata (or-cha-ta)

I could list a whole slew of frequently butchered Arabic words, but a lot of the consonants in Arabic are really hard to describe. I'll try with one though: Hummus is "Hum-muss," with the H actually said very deep down in the throat (NOT A KH/CH SOUND!!!), otherwise it sounds like English "hum" and the "muss" rhymes with "puss". The end is a hard S, said with the tongue very low in the mouth. And it is a doubled m, just like Italian doubled consonants, hence hum-muss

Finally, I'd like to add the Turkish döner kebap/kebab since it's such a common food worldwide. Döner is NOT pronounced "donner" like the Donner party, or "donor." It's dön as pronounced in German, deune if in French, and dern (sort of) in British English where the R is not pronounced. the -er can range from anything from ér, err like in English, or air, always with the R pronounced either as in English or rolled lightly as in Italian. Kebap (Turkish convention) is Ké-bahp. That simple. It's not kee-bap/bab, as is often said in English.

Edited by Hassouni, 04 December 2011 - 01:33 AM.


#53 toolprincess

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 01:22 AM

I agree that there is a correct or standard pronunciation but you have to allow for regional variations. And the fact that there is often a UK/US English variation.

My friend who is first generation Italian-American shudders every time someone says ricotta ( re- cot- ta). She always says ree- coat- ta. I had never heard this before I met her.

Growing up people in my town either said barb-be-que or bob-e-q.

Sometimes it's a tomatoe - tomahtoe situation.

#54 haresfur

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 02:39 AM

I was brought up with fi-lay (steak) and fillet (fish or verb). But mostly I think many people take this stuff way too seriously - not that it's bad to know how words are pronounced in their county of origin.
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#55 ChrisZ

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 05:20 AM

When we cook Italian food I suppose it's acceptable to use arugula and parmigiana, it's gives the impression that what we're cooking has that authentic Italian credo that is so important. But personally I like to use the perfectly good English words for them, rocket and parmesan.


I don't mind being labelled a pedant, but I use 'parmigiana' when I have a genuine Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano, and I use 'parmesan' when I have a generic supermarket parmesan-style cheese. I don't know if it's a global thing, but locally the term 'parmesan' is used pretty broadly. But even good local delicatessens happily sell imported Grano Padano as 'parmesan', which I find slightly irritating.

I agree, however, that this isn't a pronunciation issue!

#56 Blether

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 05:21 AM

Nwa-yee Prah (French R again)


I'm pretty sure I read on Noilly Prat's own web site that it's Noilly as in oily, and Prat as in fat.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.


#57 Hassouni

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 10:02 AM

Haha, maybe for the American market...

#58 andiesenji

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 10:23 AM

I agree that there is a correct or standard pronunciation but you have to allow for regional variations. And the fact that there is often a UK/US English variation.

Sometimes it's a tomatoe - tomahtoe situation.



Where I grew up in Kentucky, it was with most folks outside of my family, termater and I have heard many variations on this theme throughout the rural south and midwest during my travels.
And an aunt who lived in Baltimore always said taa-maa-to and was considered a bit la-di-dah! :laugh:

A local man, originally from St. Joe, MO, refers to BBQ as Barbie-coo. He works at a BBQ restaurant here in Lancaster.

Edited by andiesenji, 04 December 2011 - 10:26 AM.

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#59 Tri2Cook

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 10:49 AM

Haha, maybe for the American market...

Possibly, I'm not an expert on the subject... or maybe because it's a brand-name and not a standard word it doesn't have to follow the usual rules. I'm thinking a French company wouldn't intentionally mis-pronounce it's own name on it's own website for the benefit of one specific non-French market. We (myself included, not pointing fingers) here at eGullet often want to make things fancy and fussy when they seem/sound too simple on their own. Somtimes an apple pie is just an apple pie and doesn't need to be a tarte tatin aux pommes.
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#60 Will

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 11:31 AM

How is Mascarpone not on this list?





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