You’re Probably Pronouncing These 30 Food Words Wrong Slideshow
July 17, 2017
Some menu items are harder to pronounce than others
You’re Probably Pronouncing These 30 Food Words Wrong
There’s no better way to make a fool of yourself in a fancy restaurant than by horribly butchering the pronunciation of a menu item.
This traditional French fish stew is about as difficult to pronounce as it is to spell, but once you get the hang of it it’s pretty easy. It’s pronounced “BOO-yah-base.” Boo yah!
While we tend to think of bruschetta as toast with diced tomatoes on it, “bruschetta” is actually the name for the toast itself, and it can be topped with pretty much anything. While plenty of people pronounce it “brush-etta,” (and some would even argue that that's perfectly acceptable) the proper Italian pronunciation is “bruce-KAY-tuh.”
At first glance, the name of Brazil’s national cocktail (a combination of a sugar cane-based liquor called cachaça, sugar, and lime) is just a jumble of letters, and that H in there doesn’t help either. But keep in mind that “ha” in Portuguese is pronounced “yah” and it becomes a little easier to say. It’s “kye-peer-EEN-yah.”
The overarching name given to all prepared meat products, like salami, pâté, and cured ham, charcuterie is another French tongue-twister. It’s pronounced “shar-koo-tuh-REE.”
You can tell just by looking at this word that there’s no X in it, but some people still pronounce it “expresso.” It’s pronounced “es-PRESS-oh,” just what it looks like.
We’re not sure why some people still insist on pronouncing this smoked jalapeño “chip-ole-tey,” but if you do, stop it right now. It’s “chip-oat-lay,” and it’s really not that difficult.
Remember Curly from the Three Stooges’ “nyuk nyuk nyuk”? Just remember that next time you see this on a menu and you’ll be fine. Don’t even attempt to pronounce the G; you say the word “NYUK-ee.”
This Italian cured pork cheek or jowl is nothing short of delicious, but certainly tricky to pronounce. It may take a little practice, but it’s pronounced “gwan-chee-AH-lay.”
Most people still pronounce this Greek dish of meat roasted on a vertical spit (or a sandwich made with said meat) like it’s shorthand for “gyroscope,” but it’s actually pronounced nothing like that. Pronounce it “YEE-roh” instead.
These French-style green beans (which are usually thinner and more “beany” tasting than their North American counterparts) can be horribly mispronounced simply because there are so many “silent” letters. It’s pronounced “arr-ee-co-vair,” and the singular “haricot vert” is pronounced essentially the same way.
This Mexican corn fungus (officially called corn smut but sometimes generously referred to as a “corn truffle”) has its roots in pre-Spanish Aztec language, so its pronunciation isn’t exactly obvious. It’s properly pronounced “weet-lah-KO-chay.”
Also known as a Napoleon, this French pastry is usually made with alternating layers of puff pastry and pastry cream. You most likely won’t be able to pronounce this perfectly unless you have a flawless French accent, but “meal-foy” is certainly close enough.
The term Niçoise can refer to anything from the French city of Nice (which is pronounced like niece, by the way), but it usually refers to a salad composed of lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, green beans, potatoes, and tuna or anchovies. That little squiggly thing under the C is called a cedilla, and connotes that it should be pronounced like S. So Niçoise would be pronounced “nee-swazz.”
This creamy potato leek soup is usually served cold, and its invention is usually credited to a French chef at New York’s Ritz-Carlton who grew up near the French town of Vichy. Should you find yourself in need of a bowl, pronounce it “vishy-swozz.”
This trendy berry is pronounced “uh-SY-ee.”
The first word in the name of this popular Vietnamese sandwich doesn’t rhyme with the name Ron. It’s actually pronounced “bun.”
A salad of fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil that’s a mainstay on Italian restaurant menus, the caprese salad is pronounced “cuh-PRAY-zay.”
You can keep calling this popular salad component “END-dive” if you want to, but know that it’s actually pronounced “ON-deev.”
This trendy grain isn’t pronounced “pharaoh;” it’s actually “FAR-ro.”
This controversial French delicacy — the fattened liver of a goose or duck — is pronounced “FWAH GRAH.”
This cool and crunchy vegetable is a great salad addition, but it can be tricky to pronounce. The J is actually pronounced as an H (or similarly, at least), so it should be pronounced roughly “HEE-kuh-muh.”
You need a French accent to really pronounce this word correctly, but keep in mind that it’s not macaroon; that’s a sweet made from coconut and condensed milk. It’s actually pronounced “mack-uh-HRON.”
That cherry on top of your sundae (or in your cocktail) is pronounced “mar-uh-SKEE-noh.”
This fresh Italian cheese is pronounced “moss-car-POE-nay.”
One of Spain’s greatest culinary creations, this rice dish is pronounced “pa-EH-ya.”
This super-trendy Hawaiian food, made with cubes of raw fish, isn’t pronounced “poke” like you’re poking somebody, nor is it pronounced “pokey” like you’re doing the Hokey Pokey. It’s pronounced “POH-kay.”
The French and Belgian word for French fries (no they don’t actually call them French fries in France), it’s pronounced “pum-FREET.”
The Italian cured ham is pronounced “pro-ZHYOO-toe.”
This jumble of letters is the name of a popular umami-rich sauce that’s been around since the 1830s. It’s named after a county of the same name in the West Midlands of England. It’s pronounced “WUSS-ter-sheer.”