Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Common Food Mispronunciations and Misnomers


Fat Guy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just got an interesting press release from the Living Language (Random House) people with their list of commonly mispronounced food-and-wine words. Thought I'd share it with you all:

FOOD

· Gnocchi (NYOH-kee)-- derivative of nocca, or “knuckle,” which refers to the pasta’s small round shape

· Charcuterie (shahr-kew-tuh-REE) -- stems from la chair, which means flesh, and cuite, which means cooked

· Pho (fuh)

· Wienerschnitzel (VEE-ner-shnit-tsel) -- means cut (as in cut of meat) from Vienna

· Quinoa (keen-WAH) -- the Spanish spelling of the original Quechua word kinwa

· Gyro(YEE-roh) -- from the Greek verb gyros, which means to turn

· Bruschetta (broo-SKEH-tah) -- from the verb bruscare, meaning to roast

· Nigiri (nee-JEE-ree)

· Crêpe (KREHP) -- from the Latin crispa, meaning curled

· Crème fraîche (krehm fresh)

WINE

· Sangiovese (san-jo-VEH-zeh)

· Viognier (Vi-ohn-YAY)

· Gewürtzraminer (Geh-VERTZ-trah-mee-nur)

· Barbera (Bar-BEAR-ah)

· Pouilly-Fuisse (Poo-yee-fwee-SAY)

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got an A+ but the term that prevented me from perfect is admitting I murdered Gewürtzraminer (Geh-VERTZ-trah-mee-nur)until a few years ago. That, and knowing about mispronunciations of mine I don't know about yet, keeps me humble.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pretty sure Gewürtzraminer and Pouilly-Fuisse are incorrect as presented.

The "ü" in German is pronounced closer to the English diphthong "oo", though there's no true phonetic equivalent in English.

And Pouilly-Fuisse is misspelled - to be pronounced as listed, it would require an accent aigu over the final "e", which it correctly has: Pouilly-Fuissé.

My French and German are both a long time ago though.

ETA: just realized Gewürtzraminer was misspelled as well, the "t" and "z" being transposed. FG, did you type this up yourself from a hard copy?

Edited by phatj (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nigiri is most emphatically NOT "nijiri." Every "g" in Japanese in pronounced hard, as in "go"

Gewürztraminer (correct spelling) is more like "Geh-vooa-ts-tra-meena" but see what PhatJ said about the ü, and with the throaty German/French r

Bruschetta has a double T, so it's "bru-SKET-ta"

Ditto gnocchi with the double C - "nyok-ki"

To be really pedantic, phở should be pronounced like "pha?" with a rising tone, but that only will impress Vietnamese :rolleyes:

Edited by Hassouni (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, that'd be nice. I dunno where that horrible kyu- pronunciation comes from..

Edit: I just realized that coupon must be French for "cutting" or something similar...makes sense!

Edited by Hassouni (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They're wrong about Quinua. It's KEEN-wah or KIN-wah (depending on the region), but the stress is always on the first syllable.

Man these Random House people are just flat wrong huh. That's a lot of errors, or at best-laziness.

I will give them props for crêpe, though, it drives me nuts when people say "kreyp"

Edited by Hassouni (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They're wrong about Quinua. It's KEEN-wah or KIN-wah (depending on the region), but the stress is always on the first syllable.

Man these Random House people are just flat wrong huh. That's a lot of errors, or at best-laziness.

I will give them props for crêpe, though, it drives me nuts when people say "kreyp"

Alls I know is that if I go into a dry-goods seller anywhere in this country and ask for keen-WAH, they'll look at me like I've grown another head, but if I ask for KEEN-wah, they'll give me grain.

ETA - this comes from the way Kichua is transliterated. It has no native alphabet, as it was purely an oral language until the Spaniards came along. Then it became a written language, using the same rules of spelling and pronunciation as Castellano. Hence, in words of two syllables unless a diacritic mark is added, the stress always falls on the first syllable.

They've also mis-spelled the word itself. Quinoa would be pronounced keen-OH-ah, because the oa combination in Castellano is not a dipthong, it's two separate and separately pronounced syllables. It's properly spelled Quinua, in order to keep the stress in the correct place and preserve the "wa" sound at the end of the word (since ua is a diphtong and not two separate syllables - to separate them you have to use the diacritic.)

But yes, mad props for Crêpe.

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^^

I must be guilty of mispronounciation with that one then! I always say ka-ra-mel.

Surely we should add paratha here. Though there are many other Indian dishes (from various languages) that get mispronounced, this one is commonly heard because it is a common bread on menus in the West. The "Th" is a hard, aspirated T (tongue touches roof of mouth). Say "T" but then put air behind it. It is not like the th in the English word through. It's not a lispy-sounding th. That sound does not exist in Hindi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually there are two "th"s (and two "t"s as well). One is a hard retroflex (that's the tongue on the roof of the mouth thing) and the other is a soft dental where the tongue touches the front teeth. But yes, in paratha it is the hard th. To a hindi speaker, all the English ts and ds seem like they are hard, so English words that are hindi-fied have hard ts and ds. For instance "doctor" in Hindi has a hard d and a hard t.

Also the first a in paratha is a "short" a that sounds a bit like uh (but not with loads of air as the h might suggest, it's just that's the clearest way to write it in English). So it's puh-raa-tha.

Another common food word that is important to get right is dal. It is a soft dental d and a long a (like the a in the word father). The dental d is probably why so many very silly people write it as dhal. There is no aspiration, so dh is completely wrong and for a Hindi speaker this spelling is confusing as it mixes it up with the aspirated d. The best english spelling is daal. You must keep the d as a dental d because a hard d would make the word that means branch! I mean, you may be ordering dal because you are vegetarian but I am sure you are not tree-eating vegetarian!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^^

Right well this is definitely one that is pronounced differently in UK vs USA! In the UK it is pronounced as in your first example, for the name too. (See Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers for proof of that!)

Oregano is another herb that is said differently in UK vs USA.

ETA: I love that Hassouni and I thought the same!

Edited by Jenni (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These sorts of articles are always hilarious, because it's a rule that any article written about commonly-mispronounced words will inevitably contain mispronunciations of its own. Just like any article nitpicking spelling or grammar will contain spelling or grammatical errors.

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Also, I once asked for corn "tor-TEE-yas" with my meal, and the young lady said, "Sure, I'll bring you tor-TILL-as." No lie. Never heard it pronounced that way before or since.

I don't mind being corrected when I actually am wrong, though. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By cyalexa
      Salsa Para Enchiladas  
      3 ancho chiles
      2 New Mexico chiles
      2 chipotle chiles
      1 clove garlic, sliced
      2 TB flour
      2 TB vegetable oil
      1 tsp vinegar
      ¾ tsp salt
      ¼ tsp dried oregano
      2 cups broth, stock, or (filtered) chili soaking liquid
      Rinse, stem and seed chiles. Place in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Cover and remove from heat and let soften and cool. While the chiles are cooling, gently sauté garlic slices in oil until they are soft and golden brown. Remove the garlic from the oil, with a slotted spoon and reserve. Make a light roux by adding the flour to the oil and sautéing briefly. Drain the chilies and puree them with the garlic slices and half of the liquid. Strain the puree back into the saucepan. Pour the remainder of the liquid through the sieve to loosen any remaining chili pulp. Add the roux to the saucepan and whisk to blend. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, bring to a boil then and simmer 15-20 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and vinegar if necessary.
    • By gulfporter
      Grilled fish recipe from Mexico. 
       
      Pescado Zarendeado
       
      4 large dried ancho chiles 2 dried chiles de arból (omit if you prefer a milder sauce) ½ small onion, chopped 8 ounces canned tomato sauce 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 3 tablespoons Ponzu sauce (or substitute ½ soy sauce, ½ lime juice) 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup mayonnaise 2 kilos Pargo blanco or red snapper (huachinango) one 2-kilo fish or two 1-kilo fish. Butterflied from the belly out.  Remove and discard the stems and seeds from chiles. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover completely with boiling water and then soak for 40 minutes.
      Remove the chiles and place in a food processor with ½ cup of the soaking liquid, the onion, tomato sauce, garlic, Ponzu, Worcestershire and the salt. Process until very smooth. Sieve the mixture into a bowl, then add the mayonnaise and blend.
      Set aside 2/3 cup of the blended sauce to serve with the cooked fish. The rest will be used to prepare the fish for the grill.
      Slather the flesh-side of the fish with the sauce and then place, skin-side down on a hot charcoal or gas grill. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the fish. (About 15 minutes for a one-kilo snapper on my gas grill at medium-high, lid closed).
      Place cooked fish on a large platter; use a spoon to remove the flesh.
      Serve with fresh tortillas and pickled onions. Pass the reserved sauce.
      Pickled Red Onions
      Thinly slice a medium red onion into a glass bowl, toss with the juice of a large lime, one or two finely minced serrano chiles and ¼ teaspoon salt. Best if marinated overnight in the fridge.
    • By Kasia
      My quesadilla
       
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a dish which meets holiday requirements. It is easy, and it doesn't need sophisticated ingredients or an oven. A frying pan is enough. Quesadilla, the dish in question, is a tortilla with melted cheese. The rest of the ingredients you choose at your discretion. Red beans, pepper, chorizo or fried meat all work brilliantly. I added fried pieces of turkey leg. Thanks to this, my dish could be a holiday dinner.

      Ingredients (for 2 people)
      4 tortillas
      300g of turkey leg
      half a chili pepper
      half an onion
      1 clove of garlic
      2 tablespoons of oil
      200g of tinned sweetcorn
      200g of tinned red beans
      fresh pepper
      200g of mozzarella cheese
      salt and pepper

      Cube the meat. Fry the diced onion, garlic and chili pepper in oil. Add the spiced-up-with-salt-and-pepper meat and fry on a low heat until the meat is soft. Cube the pepper. Drain the sweetcorn and red beans and slice the mozzarella cheese. Put the tortilla into a dry, heated pan. Arrange the meat, sweetcorn and red beans on it. Cover with the slices of the mozzarella cheese and the second tortilla. Fry on a low heat for a while. Turn it and fry a bit more until the cheese has melted. Put it on a plate and cut it into triangles.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       
       

    • By Pierogi
      Mexican Rice
      Serves 4 as Side.

      1 T olive oil
      1 small onion, finely chopped
      2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
      1-1/2 c long-grain rice
      3 c low-salt chicken broth or stock
      2 med-size tomatoes (about 12 oz total), chopped
      1 can (4&1/2 oz) chopped green chilies
      1 tsp chili powder
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp pepper
      1/2 c fresh chopped cilantro
      1/2 c pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced

      Heat oil in 4-quart saucepan over med-high heat until hot. (Make sure you use a large enough pot, I tried to make it fit into a 3&1/2 quart pot and it was very tight). Add onion & garlic, cook until soft. Add rice, and stir well, cook, stirring occasionally, until rice toasts a bit and turns golden, about 3-5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, and S&P. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is done, about 25 min. You may have some liquid still left.
      Turn off heat and stir in cilantro and olives, Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
      Keywords: Side, Rice, Mexican, Easy
      ( RG2089 )
    • By chardgirl
      Greens Tacos
      I like to make these for breakfast or lunch: I try to eat dark leafy greens most days one way or another.

      3/4 lb greens, cleaned well and sliced into approximate 1 inch pieces (today I used arugula and radish greens, leaving the radish ‘roots' in the fridge to be munched on later. the greens are good to eat, but
      2 tsp cooking oil
      2 stalks green garlic, cleaned as a leek and chopped, or another allium family, whatever you have on hand (onion, green onion, garlic, leek.....)

      Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne
      2 T cream cheese
      4 small corn tortillas or 2-3 larger flour ones

      Heat the oil and add the garlic, having the greens ready to go, and cook garlic for about 30 seconds. Then add greens and cook until bright green and wilted, add red pepper (and salt and black pepper if you like). Take off heat and stir in cream cheese. Heat tortillas, divide filling among them. Eat and enjoy.
      Keywords: Vegetables, Easy, Vegetarian
      ( RG1521 )
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...