Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Most Commonly Mispronounced Food Names

Imagine yourself in this position - you are in a high-class French restaurant with your romantic date, the waiter politely hands you a menu, filled with names that you know what they are, but not sure of how to pronounce them. "May I take your order, sir?" the waiter asked. "2 servings of foil grass please", you replied with much confidence while you looked at the puzzled waiter. "Uh.. Foie gras, you meant?"

Eh bro, pai seh sia.



Learn to save yourself from this kind of awkward scenario with this handy list of the top 20 commonly mispronounced food names.

1. ABALONE
Every Chinese's favorite dish, and to those who love abalone and shuns eating escargots - abalone is actually a common edible sea-snail.

Wrong: a-BUH-lon
Correct: a-BUH-lon-ee

Image from: mywishdesign.com

2. ACAI

Probably the hardest berry to pronounce.

Wrong: AH-chai, AH-kai
Correct: ah-SAI-ee

Image from: bbb.org


3. BAGUETTE

The best companion to the good o' curry chicken. Now you can order this, instead of pointing frantically or buying the boring Gardenia loaf.

Wrong: BAH-gwet, bag-gerd
Correct: ba-GET

Image from: 21food.com

4. BÁNH MÌ
Classic Vietnamese baguette (test: how to pronounce baguette?). 
How the hell do we pronounce "nh" anyway?

Wrong: BUN-mee, BAN-me (for what?)
Correct: BON-me

Image from: clatl.com


5. BRUSCHETTA

I hate tomatoes, but the combination of them and grilled bread are yummilious. If only the names are not so difficult to pronounce.

Wrong: bru-SHET-ah, BRUSH-het-a
Correct: broo-SKET-ah

Image from: startingtocook.com

6. CHIPOTLE
Before I know how to pronounce this, every single time I eat Subway, I will call out for the "Southwest" sauce. Now, I say it like a boss.

Wrong: chi-poh-te 
Correct: chi-POAT-lay

Image from: chipotle.com

7. CREPE
One of the most controversial food name of using either English or the French pronunciation. It is a French dish, so undoubtedly, the French pronunciation should be used. Still don't know how to pronounce? Order a waffle instead.

Wrong: KRApe, creep
Correct: krehp (rhymes with step, not grape)

Image from: nutrisoya.com

8. CROISSANT
I admit that I have used the wrong pronunciation more than two decades. Same with crepes, don't argue. French pronunciation.

Wrong: cruh-ZONT, CROY-sen
Correct: KWAH-song

Image from: amazonaws.com


9. ESPRESSO

I have heard people, even those white-collar workers and especially aunties, pronouncing with a magical "X" in this legendary wake-me-up drink. 

Wrong: EX-pres-so
Correct: ES-pres-so

Image from: smithsonianmag.com


10. FOIE GRAS

A very controversial delicacy. Just type the words in any search engine and you will get - not results of delicious foie gras on a nice plate, but rather the torturous scene behind this dish. Anyway..

Wrong: foil-GRASS, fo-ey-GRAS
Correct: fwah-GRAH

Image from: laweekly.com


11. GNOCCHI
Unbelievably simple, yet incredible tasty.. and difficult to pronounce. Trust me, if you like mwah-chee, try this out. No regrets.

Wrong: no-CHEE, NOR-gi
Correct: NYOH-kee

Image from: cbc.ca

12. MACARONS
God dammit. For the last time, this is RON not ROON. They are totally different type of pastry.

Wrong: mack-uh-ROONS
Correct: mack-uh-RONS

Image from: lovelylittledetails.com

13. PARMESAN
Arguably the only cheese besides cheddar most Singaporeans would know, yet do you know what's the correct pronunciation? 

Wrong: par-ME-san, par-me-ZHAHN
Correct: PAR-meh-zhan

Image from: wannabetvchef.blog.co.uk

14. PHO
What is Vietnamese food without their most well-known street food and staple dish? It's only three alphabets  long, you don't have to scratch your head about it. Here's how you pronounce it:

Wrong: FOE, POH
Correct: FUH


Image from: inspiredtaste.net

15. PROSCIUTTO
Basically means "ham". Italian just love to make it sound more classy.

Wrong: proh-SKI-toe, proh-SKOO-toe
Correct: proh-shoo-toe

Prosciutto
Image from: bbcgoodfood.com

16. QUESADILLA
Originating from the land of the cowboys (that's Mexico btw), quesadilla has evolved into countless variations, but it's roots never left the Mexican way of pronunciation. Eeeee-HA!

Wrong: KA-sa-dee-la, keh-sa-DEE-lah
Correct: kay-suh-DEE-ah


Image from: tablespoon.com

17. QUINOA
Known as the "super-grain of the future", you don't need super-brains to figure out this pronunciation.

Wrong: KEE-no-wa, KEE-nua
Correct: KEEN-wah


Image from: nytimes.com

18. SALMON
Arguably everyone's favourite fish, yet they do not know the actual pronunciation. I repeat again, the "L" is silent.

Wrong: SEL-men, SEL-muhn
Correct: SEH-muhn



19. SHERBET
This word has been mispronounced countless times that even dictionaries have listed the wrong pronunciation inside.  Once again, there's only ONE "R" in sherbet.

Wrong: sher-BERT
Correct: sher-BET


Image from: chowstatic.com

20. WASABI
I just hate it when people try to act atas and pronounce it like an Italian. Wasabi is written as わさび in Japanese, and the word - び is pronounced as "bi", not "bay". Get that right.

Wrong: WA-sa-bay
Correct: WA-sa-bee

Image from: world-crops.com

Congratulations! You just added 20 words into your food vocabulary.