15 Most Misleading Dishes Slideshow



What is it really? Well, it’s not cheese, for one, but it’s also not brains. Generally, headcheese is the meat from a calf or pig head that has been gutted and boiled. It congeals from the gelatin in the skull, making it an easily spreadable reconstituted meat!

Spotted Dick

What is it really? Those Brits love their puddings. This one is a sweet, baked version that usually includes suet, or beef fat, but can be made with vegetable shortening. Apparently Heinz makes a microwaveable one, so you can have some hot Spotted Dick anytime you want.


What is it really? Definitely not bread. They are rich, arguably sweet-tasting glands – thymus or pancreas – from calves or lambs (those from milk-fed veal calves are especially prized), and sometimes from pigs.


What is it really? Not as hard to guess as other dishes on the list, these are pigs’ feet and they come best pickled or smoked. In this photo, the restaurant Incanto serves them with pig’s blood pasta and foie gras.

Dolphin Fish

What is it really?Don’t worry, no one is trying to trick you into eating a dolphin, it’s just another name for mahi mahi. However, most restaurants have learned to use the more appetizing name on menus.

Beggar's Purse

What is it really? A delicious little appetizer in fact. The name comes from the way a crepe filled with a savory blend of something like crabmeat is cinched and tied with chives.

Cats' Tongues

What is it really? Somewhere in the world, someone may be eating an actual cat’s tongue, but it’s also commonly known as a type of French cookie.

Dirty Rice

What is it really? Sure it’s rice, but it’s not dirty and you do want to eat it. It's a Cajun dish that is traditionally rice sautéed with chicken livers and gizzards, but many people use ground beef or sausage instead.

Grasshopper Pie


What is it really? A Southern favorite, grasshopper pie is a minty, chocolate-y pie served chilled, without any insects. Grasshopper tacos, however, are another matter entirely.


What is it really? Practically the Scottish national dish, the mixture of offal (heart, lungs, glands, etc.) and oatmeal is stuffed into the lining of a sheep’s stomach and cooked.

Texas Caviar

What is it really? Rather than fish eggs, this dip contains black-eyed peas mixed with onions, peppers and spices.

Humble Pie

What is it really? There’s no reason to feel ashamed eating this Medieval-era dish from England. Not if you’re after a nice hot pie filled with all kinds of offal – traditionally from deer but now usually beef.

Hush Puppy

What is it really? No fried dog to be found here. Rather, Southern cooks just seem to get creative when naming their dishes. Often served with seafood, hush puppies are deep-fried rounds of cornbread.

Rocky Mountain Oyster


What is it really? The joke here is: There’s no body of water in the Rockies with oysters in it. Also known as cowboy caviar, calf fries and white kidneys, they are in reality testicles from a bull (or sometimes a sheep). While not as common on menus in the U.S., this type of offal is a delicacy elsewhere including Italy and Spain.

Welsh Rabbit

What is it really? Vegetarians, take heart. This dish is just cheddar cheese seasoned with Worcestershire sauce or beer and melted on toast.