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

According to this video, which is in French, it's nwayee praht with a hard T, which is unconventional for French. But it's not n-oily!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WJTMa4uJRw

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

Foie Gras

Brouilly

Onglet

Amongst many others - tortillas and fajitas used to be a big one 5-10 years ago too. Working in a restaurant I have to be honest, I try to ensure the staff don't correct the guests pronunciation unless they are struggling with it or ask. My feeling is that you should never embarrass a guest in this respect, as long as we serve the correct dish that's all that matters. Guests that are interested and want to know the correct pronunciation on the other hand are often few and far between.

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to this video, which is in French, it's nwayee praht with a hard T, which is unconventional for French. But it's not n-oily!

The Wikipedia article you cited earlier corroborates this, actually.

Perhaps the Prat name was not originally French.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to this video, which is in French, it's nwayee praht with a hard T, which is unconventional for French. But it's not n-oily!

The Wikipedia article you cited earlier corroborates this, actually.

Perhaps the Prat name was not originally French.

Yeah I just noticed Wiki has a t. I suspect the name may be from Occitan/Provençal, the traditional language of that part of France, which is sort of an intermediary between French and Spanish (Catalan is closely related).

(by the way does anybody else think that sauce he makes in the video is a bit smothering for such nice looking steamed fish?)

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

Foie Gras

Brouilly

Onglet

Amongst many others - tortillas and fajitas used to be a big one 5-10 years ago too. Working in a restaurant I have to be honest, I try to ensure the staff don't correct the guests pronunciation unless they are struggling with it or ask. My feeling is that you should never embarrass a guest in this respect, as long as we serve the correct dish that's all that matters. Guests that are interested and want to know the correct pronunciation on the other hand are often few and far between.

Well, for those that may be wondering

Fwaa Graa (French guttural R again)

Broo-yee (see above re: R) (though I've never heard of this, I'm only basing it on how I'd say it in French)

As or onglet, the on- is the hard part to describe. The N, once again, is not a hard N, just a nasalization of the O, and the whole sound is like a very short "o" or a more rounded "aw"...really no equivalent in English that I can think of. The -glet rhymes with "gray"

so sort...oawn-glay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to this video, which is in French, it's nwayee praht with a hard T, which is unconventional for French. But it's not n-oily!

So this is just another dude pronouncing a name incorrectly, he just happens to be French. I've heard the boss and employees of the company on two separate TV shows (one Rick Stein, the other James Martin) confirm that it does rhyme with oily cat. It could be that they have a particular habit of misinforming celebrity chefs from the UK but these shows, particularly Rick Steins, are watched by millions so they would be shooting themselves in the foot! They have a phone number 0033467777520, why don't you ask them yourself?

Going back to Parmigiana, how about dropping the last syllable - Parmagian, making it sound like Parma John. Most commonly heard on Top Chef - "So like I hit it up with a little Parma John!!".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The level of linguistic knowledge on this thread is disgraceful, but please go on...

"What's more, I believe it's a cook's moral obligation to add more butter given the chance."

Michael Ruhlman,
Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind Everyday Cooking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I expect the pronounciation of Noilly Prat relates to the history of the Noilly name in a similar way to why the Moët in Moët & Chandon is pronounced with Mow-et, rather than Mow-ay. Just a guess though..

Don't tell Freddie Mercury! "She keeps the Mow-ay & Chandon in a pretty cabinet...."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The level of linguistic knowledge on this thread is disgraceful, but please go on...

I'm frankly not sure I even understand what this means. And am pretty sure that whatever it means, it's not helpful to the discussion.

I don't know which category - i.e. which level of "disgrace" - I was/am in, but I've learned a lot from this thread.

And I appreciate it.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The level of linguistic knowledge on this thread is disgraceful, but please go on...

I'm frankly not sure I even understand what this means. And am pretty sure that whatever it means, it's not helpful to the discussion.

I don't know which category - i.e. which level of "disgrace" - I was/am in, but I've learned a lot from this thread.

And I appreciate it.

Yeah I'm not sure what that means either...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh. I think its not such a big deal if a proper Italian says "prosciutto" and my deli guy says "proshute". I think Giada's exaggerated Italian pronunciations are comical and past the point of proper diction eg her "maaas-car-pon-aay".

I'll take an honest "proshute" over a pretentious "maaas-car-pon-aaay" any day.

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

Eh. I think its not such a big deal if a proper Italian says "prosciutto" and my deli guy says "proshute". I think Giada's exaggerated Italian pronunciations are comical and past the point of proper diction eg her "maaas-car-pon-aay".

I'll take an honest "proshute" over a pretentious "maaas-car-pon-aaay" any day.

yeah Giada goes beyond reasonable. I think Batali does a good job being correct but not in your face, if we're talking people on TV.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going back to Parmigiana, how about dropping the last syllable - Parmagian, making it sound like Parma John. Most commonly heard on Top Chef - "So like I hit it up with a little Parma John!!".

I noticed several people in this thread talking about "Parmigiana" and apparently meaning the cheese (and not a dish "in the style of Parma"). The cheese is called Parmigiano(-Reggiano). I find this much more grating than an anglicized pronunciation.

As for the theory that a French company wouldn't change the pronunciation of the company name for a foreign market: Just look at Michelin. They use a German pronunciation for TV commercials in Germany (but not in Austria), e.g. something like [mi-khe-lean]. So despite the French penchant for linguistic purity, making money comes first ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh. I think its not such a big deal if a proper Italian says "prosciutto" and my deli guy says "proshute". I think Giada's exaggerated Italian pronunciations are comical and past the point of proper diction eg her "maaas-car-pon-aay".

I'll take an honest "proshute" over a pretentious "maaas-car-pon-aaay" any day.

I think (with some support from my friend who comes from a Calabrian immigrant family) that dropping the final vowel is southern Italian regionalism. I used to live in a neighborhood with a large immigrant population from Bari, and all the delis could make you a nice sub with prahshoot, mootzarel, gobbagool, and provolon, and you could wash it down with a nice glass of Barol, and one deli could claim that their mootzarel was better than the next one, because they made it fresh five times a day instead of just three.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I expect the pronounciation of Noilly Prat relates to the history of the Noilly name in a similar way to why the Moët in Moët & Chandon is pronounced with Mow-et, rather than Mow-ay. Just a guess though..

Don't tell Freddie Mercury! "She keeps the Mow-ay & Chandon in a pretty cabinet...."

How about this pronuciation? To my ear she's saying 'noy-dee prat'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm really sorry about my last post--I shouldn't be allowed near the internet when I haven't slept. I'm sorry it came out that way--when I did get some sleep and wake up, I thought I had dreamt it. And then I realized... In any case, it was inappropriate and to some extent inaccurate.

Sorry again--I'm not usually that unpleasant. I've actually enjoyed most of the thread. A few things just got to me--you may or may not like Caprial Pence, but her pronunciation of mascarpone is not wrong. In South Italy, from which virtually all Italian-American families originally came, dialects (though an excellent case can be made that the "dialects" of much of Italy are in fact separate languages, individually derived from Latin; "standard Italian" is itself a construct based largely on Dante and the grammar and pronunciation of cerain influential cities)--anyway, in the dialects around the Bay of Naples, the norm is the deletion of final vowels. In other words, calzon', mascarpon', mozzarell', etc., are not ignorant variants of somehow perfect "Italian" originals. Yes, I took college Italian too--in the United States--and at first thought that my father's family just got it all wrong. But a little more time and a little more research made it clear that their inherited pronunciation is just as authentic as the official pronunciation of Italian always taught abroad, but rarely heard in Italy itself. "Official," as almost always, means "politically sanctioned," and "politically sanctioned" has never exactly aligned with "right."

I'm sensitive since I've heard family members criticized as stupid, ignorant, or uneducated when they were in fact right all along--unfortunately, they've usually believed their critics. Plato's cave and all...

None of this excuses my stupid post.

With red face,

"What's more, I believe it's a cook's moral obligation to add more butter given the chance."

Michael Ruhlman,
Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind Everyday Cooking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...