10 Bizarrely Named Dishes Around the World (Slideshow)

In most cases, we’re happy these names aren’t literal

10 Bizarrely Named Dishes Around the World

If you read “head cheese” on a menu and had never heard of the dish before, would you try it? With a name like that, you might get the wrong idea. Despite how bizarre the name of a dish may seem, many of the dishes on this list are quite tasty.

Buddha Jumps Over the Wall

Otherwise known as shark fin soup, this Chinese delicacy is said to be named for its ability to tempt even vegetarian monks to come out of their temples and eat it.

Stinking Bishop

The name says it all: this cheese is stinky. It gets its name from Stinking Bishop pears (named not for an odiferous clergyman but for a plant breeder named Bishop, who reportedly had a nasty temper); it is washed in perry (pear cider) made from this variety as it matures, lending it its foul odor.

Code di Topo — “Mouse Tails”

The Italians named this pasta after mouse tails, and it’s easy to see why: these noodles look just like them!

Bubble and Squeak

Today, bubble and squeak is an English dish of mainly fried potatoes and other vegetables, but in the eighteenth century, it was made of fried meat and cabbage. The dish is named for the sound the meat and cabbage made when fried together, bubbling and squeaking at the same time.

Head Cheese

The name of this European dish isn’t totally deceptive; it’s not made of cheese, but it is made with parts of the head. It’s made by skinning the head of a sheep, pig, or cow to make a gelatinous meat that can even include the tongue, feet, and heart of the animal.

Puppy Chow

Your puppy might want to chow down on this, but it’s actually a dessert made for humans out of crispy rice cereal, peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar.

Dutch Baby

This breakfast pancake is not Dutch at all but was invented in a café in Seattle, Wash. in the 1900s.

Devils on Horseback

These are no devils, just prunes wrapped in bacon. One theory about the origin of the dish’s name goes back to about 1066 when the Normans invaded England at Cornwall. The raiders covered their armor in rashers of bacon to scare the villagers, and later cooked the meat.

The Imam Fainted

Imam Bayildi — translated in English as “the imam fainted” — is one of Turkey’s best-loved dishes, made of eggplant stuffed with onion, garlic, and tomatoes, and cooked in olive oil. There are several stories of how the name came to be, but the most common version says that a Muslim priest, or imam, fainted with pleasure upon tasting the dish.


Roughly shaped like fingers, these French biscuits were first made in the late fifteenth century at the court of the Duchy of Savoy, where they were baked as a treat to welcome the King of France.