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 an account.

Fat Guy

Common Food Mispronunciations and Misnomers

Recommended Posts

jalapeño = ha-la-pain-yo (one does also hear: ha-la-peen-uh)

As you point out, one may "also hear" hal-a-PEEN-no, but that's so wrong that it's irritating to the ear and grating on the nerves. We have an enormous Spanish-speaking population in the US and the popularity of Mexican food and its ingredients can't possibly be overstated. It's not like jalapeño is some exotic ingredient from some foreign land like Outer Slobovia and it's asking waaaaaay too much for Americans to be able to correctly pronounce the names of even the most obscure Outer Slobovian ingredients. And nobody takes Slobovian in our high schools.

I get your point. But, yanno... the places where we tend to hear it that way are the same places that have been saying San Jacinto as "san jah-sin-tuh" and Amarillo as "am-a-rill-uh."

I've never seen "yeeros" on a menu here, either. But you do see "heros" quite a lot. So often, in fact, that I doubt most Americans even make the connection to gyros.

I think people don't make that connection because there isn't one. Heros (as in "hero sandwich") are associated with Italian-Americans, not Greek-Americans. "Gyros" also didn't enter the American lexicon until the late 1960s.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gyros of course is simply a calque from döner (which means "turning" in Turkish - think gyroscope in English), being invented in slightly different form in Bursa (western Anatolia) in the 19th century. (And shawarma is an Arab pronunciation of çevirme, Turkish for "rotating/spinning")

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

croissant = kwa-sawn(t)

Let's put a touch of an "r" in there (krwa), and omit the final "t".

This, of course, is nit-picking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience in the US, croissant is most commonly pronounced "cruh-SAHNT", with an English "R" sound, and the "T" is definitely vocalized. And I'm OK with that - generally Americans trying to pronounce French as French people would come across sounding absurd. (Myself definitely included - I was once pretty good at French but now I'm better at nitpicking others' pronunciation than at speaking it myself. :smile: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

peh-cahn: what we make pies from

pee-can: what long haul truckers use

:wink:


Edited by Kim Shook (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

croissant = kwa-sawn(t)

Let's put a touch of an "r" in there (krwa), and omit the final "t".

This, of course, is nit-picking.

In my experience in the US, croissant is most commonly pronounced "cruh-SAHNT", with an English "R" sound, and the "T" is definitely vocalized.

What phatj said. I wasn't writing how it should be said, just how it is said. And in the grand scheme of things, leaving in the T and using an English R or largely leaving out the R are pretty low on the list of proper pronunciation faults around here. Hey, I'm still fighting the (losing) battle to get people to stop referring to a single Italian-style pressed sandwich as a "panini."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey, I'm still fighting the (losing) battle to get people to stop referring to a single Italian-style pressed sandwich as a "panini."

You'll sooner get people to stop making every restaurant name possessive (Panini Grill --> "Panini's") than you'll get them to get the Italian singular/plural thing right. As my college linguistics professor said, "accidents happen to vowels."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'll sooner get people to stop making every restaurant name possessive (Panini Grill --> "Panini's")....

PET PEEVE!

And (in an effort to stay on-topic) we could count that as a mispronunciation, though I think it is really some other kind of cognitive error.

Fern

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Likewise, "pierogi" (pyeh-ROH-ghee) is already the plural form for the Polish dumplings (not "pierogies"), and if you ever have occasion to talk about one of them, the singular is "pieróg" (PYEH-roog).


Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run a mojito bar in Barcelona and occasionally get Italians coming in and asking for "due mojiti".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of mispronunciations of Italian words bug me, but one of the ones most spectacularly butchered in Denmark is 'espresso', for which you generally hear ex-PRA-so. Ouch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next time you hear someone say BAY-zill give them a slap for me please. I'm currently living and working in Spain and what tourists often misinterpret is the interchangeable nature of the hard b and v sound. Based on region and accent. So as an example I was covering a co-workers shift at the omelette station at breakfast and a german man came and ordered a tortilla con jabòn. Now I don't know how and why but jamòn is ham and jabòn is soap. So I smiled my inner smile and prepared him a HAM omelette.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah please, a headache of yesteryear. Moët et Chandon. Especially the first name. Traditional pronounciation rules would have it the same as Citroën. As an extended vowel with a hint of nasal. But I've personally heard sommeliers some French, pronounce it from Mo-ei, like the Japanese bodypillow relationship to Müt as in German umlaut. And the one I am currently using Möet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next time you hear someone say BAY-zill give them a slap for me please.

Done! I can't stand it either.

Everyone should just think Fawlty Towers...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... - generally Americans trying to pronounce French as French people would come across sounding absurd....

Indeed. While reading some earlier posts I was thinking that I'd never say frahnce when referring to France in a conversation in English.

And of course, regional variations become local dogma. New Orleans is pronounced N'awlins, and Louisville is pronounced Loowahvul (after Le Roi Loowah, I presume).

And I take care never to miss an opportunity to mispronounce crudite. "Oooh, look...crud-ites!" :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of mispronunciations of Italian words bug me, but one of the ones most spectacularly butchered in Denmark is 'espresso', for which you generally hear ex-PRA-so. Ouch.

But you do have to give kudos to any speakers of a language with phrases like 'rødgrød med fløde'. Surely that gets them a pass on Italian pronunciations! :laugh: (I haven't spoken Danish in over 20 years but I can still say that one well enough to please a Dane!)

My husband used to say "broh-cole-lie" until my death stares began to shorten his lifespan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that "bay-sil" was the accepted American pronunciation. I've never heard it with the short "a" sound (as in "cat") except as a man's name, and then only as spoken by English people (as in Fawlty Towers).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you say "Bret Favre"? Unless you pronounce it "Fav-ruh" you are incorrect in France.

But you say" this isn't France and he and everyone else says Farv" .

And I say exactly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it Mar-cella Hazan or Mar-chella ?

Depends on where she is from. ;)

In Italy, it'd be Mar-chella for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By SNewman004
      I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with a manual tortilla machine / maker. I am not talking about a tortilla press. This machine basically takes a batch of masa dough that is placed on top, through a roller with a cutter, using a hand crank. The machine will flatten and cut uniform size tortillas. I've been looking at the Monarca brand. The reviews seem to be below average. I'm trying to find ways to shave some labor dollars without sacrificing quality. Our restaurant goes through an average of 300 to 500 tortillas a day depending on business. Thanks for your help!
       

    • By SNewman004
      'Our menu is based on Mexican and Latin American flavors, therefor we can't not have fresh guacamole. We fly through the stuff!! One recipe uses 72 avocados which yields about 20 quarts of guacamole. We go through this amount almost every day. On top of having someone (or a couple of) people pressing fresh tortillas, we are spending a lot of time on this menu item. I can't think of any way to make the guacamole less labor intensive without sacrificing the quality. I have considered table side, or to-order made guac. Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks!
    • By gulfporter
      Chiles en Nogada are traditionally served only for Mexican Independence Day (16 de Septiembre).  Every household and restaurant have their own version.  In years past we have eaten as many as 12 different versions in the course of the week long celebration.   Certain things about it never change: always poblanos, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and dried fruit (though the types of dried and fresh fruit vary as does the ratio of fruit to meat).  And the cream sauce is always room temperature, never heated.  
       
      Not only is it a tasty dish, it is about the prettiest meal ever put on a plate.  

       
      I have made them at home (but not for several years).   Rick Bayless's recipe is the one I used.  
      http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/pork-and-fruit-stuffed-chiles-in-white-walnut-sauce/
       
      The history of the dish is one of creating a festive dish on the spur of the moment with limited ingredients. 
      https://www.tripsavvy.com/chiles-en-nogada-1588803
       
       
       
       
    • 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 MelissaH
      I was catching up on my blog reading, and hit a post about icebox cakes. I've only ever made one icebox cake in my life, and it was delicious, using the classic chocolate wafers and whipped cream but flavored with Red Bird peppermint puffs. (I got the recipe from an article about the company that makes the candy.) Anyway, while the blog post itself was interesting, the first comment (at least as I currently see it) caught my attention, because it described a Mexican icebox cake that looked very different to me because it didn't use whipped cream. The commenter called this icebox cake a carlota de limón, and described it as being made from maria cookies, lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk. I adore limes!
       
      So...I can find recipes on line, but has anyone made this cake before? Do you have a tried-and-true recipe that you'd be willing to share? Please?
       
      Thanks!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×