20 More Commonly Mispronounced Food Words

Categories: Leftovers

mispronounce.png
XKCD.com
We're not saying you can't do this too, if the mood strikes.
Two weeks ago, we ran a list of the 20 most commonly mispronounced food words that we run across day in and day out. You, dear readers, went nuts and proceeded to forward and Facebook the link far and wide in what we can only imagine was a frenzy of "HERE UNCLE FRANK, THIS IS HOW YOU PRONOUNCE QUESADILLA FOR CHRIST'S SAKE"-inspired passion.

Thank you for that.

But a list of only 20 words was, naturally, far too short to include some of your other favorite Malaprops or mispronunciations. Many readers left their own suggestions in the comments section.

Said commenter Mississippi Queen: "Someone needs to tell Guy Fieri how to properly pronounce balsamic - he says ba-sal-mic."

And commenter Trisch added even more: "Other mispronunciations I often hear: Mascarpone pronounced as "mars-capone." Ceviche pronounced as "sir-veetch-ee." Peking duck as "peek-ing duck" (and for that matter, the city of Beijing as "bay-zhing"). Paella "pah-eh-ler" (must be a British thing)."

So in the interest of correct pronunciation everywhere, here's a list of 20 more commonly mispronounced words for your parsing pleasure.

As with last time, all pronunciations are taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary and my super-handy copy of the Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

5042726861_3471ebbc98_z.jpg
Photo by Ano Lobb
Star anise is an important ingredient in many Asian cuisines.
Anise/star anise: These two herbs may share a common name and a similar flavor, but they're actually two different plants entirely. Regardless, the "anise" in both is pronounced the same way.
Proper pronunciation: AN-iss

Bouillon: Not to be confused with (or pronounced like) gold bullion, this is a clear, meat- or vegetable-flavored broth that's used as the base of soups and stews.
Proper pronunciation: boo-YAWN

Niçoise: Anything cooked or served à la niçoise simply means that it was done after the style of Nice, France, which usually involves tomatoes, olives, onions and garlic.
Proper pronunciation: nee-SWAHZ, in the simplest sense (that is, without getting into French grammatical genders)

Charcuterie: In its most basic sense, charcuterie refers to the products made from breaking down pork and sometimes beef, products ranging from terrines and rilletes to hard sausages and whole legs of ham.
Proper pronunciation: char-COO-ter-ee (listen to both the English and French pronunciations)

Prosciutto: Speaking of charcuterie, here's one of the art's most popular products. Most prosciutto you see in Houston comes from Italy, the majority of it from San Daniele or Parma. But more and more restaurants are making their own in-house, although it's a very time-consuming process.
Proper pronunciation: proh-SHOO-toh

5557425274_5f2795e617_z.jpg
Photo by Alex
These are macarons.
Macaron/macaroon: Macarons are delicate, meringue-like French pastries made from egg whites and almond powder. Macaroons are dense cookies made from shredded coconut. They are not the same thing, nor are the pronounced the same way.
Proper pronunciation: mahck-eh-rohn (the last syllable should sound like you're about to say "rohng" but dropped the "G" at the last minute)/mack-ah-ROON

Mirepoix: An extremely basic mixture of diced carrots, onions and celery sauteed in butter, sometimes with herbs, which is used for anything from making sauces and soups to bedding for a braised piece of meat.
Proper pronunciation: mir-PWAH

Crème fraiche: Despite the fact that is has "fresh" right there in the name, crème fraiche is actually matured, thickened cream with a refreshing, tangy flavor.
Proper pronunciation: krem FRESH

Filé: The hint is in the accent mark for this Cajun thickening powder made with dried, ground sassafras leaves and used in place of (or in addition to) okra in gumbo.
Proper pronunciation: FEE-lay

Mole: On the other hand, there should be an accent mark over the "E" in this word, but there isn't. Just remember that "chicken mole" sounds disgusting, whereas "chicken MOH-lay" sounds delicious.
Proper pronunciation: MOH-lay

My Voice Nation Help
115 comments
vlp_1
vlp_1

Originally macarons and macaroons WERE the same thing....egg white, sugar and almonds. No coconut.

'Coconut macaroons' were a later development, but the coconut became so synonymous with the whole macaroon thing, that just to distinguish the original deal (no coconut) from what we think of as macaroons, they had to go with the French spelling/pronunciation.

Aisha Taylor
Aisha Taylor

All that and still no coq au vin. Love the article!

Chadds3003
Chadds3003

Which list is correct? Bouillabaisse  here has an "L" ("BOOL-yuh-BAYZ") but on the first list, no pronounced "L" ("boo-ya-bes").

Ka8y
Ka8y

Well, moussakA has nothing to do with lazania, it doesnt contain pasta.. its only aubergine,potato, minced meat and besamel sauce...

Ayaclio
Ayaclio

My favorite is paella, which is pronounced pa-e-ja. Most people pronounce it pa-el-la.

Mrs Wright
Mrs Wright

Oh dear and I stupidly wrote "here" instead of "hear" DOH!

Mrs Wright
Mrs Wright

Ok what about espresso? If I here one more idiot call it "expresso" I am going to slap them silly!

Charles Kuffner
Charles Kuffner

For what it's worth, my Italian grandmother pronounced "prosciutto" simply as "per ZHOOT". Italians don't have time to waste with all those extra syllables - there's too much else to say.

rubbercow
rubbercow

I have had an ongoing argument with an old pal of mine over the word "plantian".  He says it should be pronounced as one would pronounce the word "mountain" (and according to the OED, he is correct).  However, I argue that correct or not, only a person not afraid to irritate the hell out of everyone all the time would say it like that.  I stand proudly by my incorrect pronunciation of "plan-tayne".

Tony
Tony

my Anglo friends always make me order the Worcestershire saucecause they can't pronounce it.  

Charlie Haberl
Charlie Haberl

....and I thought that Prosciutto was the young Italian Lady sitting alone at the next table.

femme alsacienne
femme alsacienne

Bouillon = somewhere between "boo-yon" and "boo-yoh".... the French only vaguely pronouce an N at the end of a word. Niçoise  = niswahz, not really a long vowel at the start. Mirepoix = is ALMOST mir-(eh)-pwah, they prounouce certain R's quite strongly. Charcuterie = shar-coo-ter-ee, not "char" and no emphasis on second syllable. And crème fraiche literally IS "fresh cream" in France, it's only in the rest of the world we consider it something different. (In return and to add to the confusion they call custard "crème anglaise", literally "English cream").

ExPatricia
ExPatricia

WUH-stir (Worcester).   TurboT NOT "Turbo."   And what's with 'MOO-zu-RELL-uh?

ANGELA CARPENTER
ANGELA CARPENTER

How about the words Sausage or spaghetti? sometimes those words just don't roll off the tongue do they?

Qyrfgquyg
Qyrfgquyg

Hell, half the people on TV can't even pronounce the word sandwich correctly.  It's SAND-wich, not SAM-wich people!

Mike
Mike

So how do you pronounce Beijing?

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

Prix-Fixe is pronounced "pree fix".  In "prix" the "x" is not pronounced because there is no "e" on the end of the word. In "fixe" the "e" at the end of the word indicates that the "x" should be pronounced.I often hear "pree fee" or "price fixe", but the correct pronunciation is "pree fix".

To Mississippi Queen, the same rule applies to "roux" which is pronounced "roo" although the "r" is the french r which goes to the back of the throat is barely more than a "ruh" sound

Another one is "foie gras". I've heard it pronounced like "foe grass", but it's "fwah grah". The "s" falls off of the pronunciation of "gras" because there is no "e" at the end.

France Removals
France Removals

how about his one:two panini and one panino!but we still asking for ' one panini'!

Kaahe
Kaahe

I wish my dad had had your guidance with the word 'Worcestershire'.

When pronouncing it, he brought to mind the place where Hobbits live.

Shawna
Shawna

I had a friend who insisted it was tear-ah-mizz-ew instead of tierra-mi-sue, and she worked in food service.

P.F. Bruns
P.F. Bruns

"It's like those French have a different word for everything."--Steve Martin

Nick R.
Nick R.

Was in line at Cafe Express recently, heard someone ask for the asiago chicken--but they pronounced it "ASIA-go" chicken

P.F. Bruns
P.F. Bruns

Someone also please send this list to Bobby Flay.

SirRon
SirRon

This post would have gotten more comments if you had included how to pronounce "Caswell." Kidding.

vietiscool
vietiscool

i hate when people correct me for pronouncing crepe correctly. that should have been on the list.

it's pronounced krehp (rhymes with step) not crape (rhymes with grape)

Jay S Kumaran
Jay S Kumaran

Languages using the Roman script have developed such an array of phonims out of the 26 letters it is mind boggling, withEnglish having some 1399 phonimes an on the other end Italian, Spanish and Pourteges limited to about 125!

Jay S Kumaran
Jay S Kumaran

Having lived in New Orleans (Noo orlens) for a few years I love this . I used to have a dawg named Phideauex. LOL

Cabal468
Cabal468

I can't believe 'Gyro' isn't on there! :-D

Wcase
Wcase

If you speak Greek you pronounce it Moo-sah-KAH.  If, however, you're in America and speaking English, say it MOO-sah-kah.  Ditto for bullion.  It's the same whether it's something you eat or the stuff Goldfinger was after.  Please try not to mix languages in the same sentence; it's pretentious.

BadDudeShane
BadDudeShane

"Moo-sah-KAH!" Oooh, that gives me shivers. Say it again!

Bamrambo
Bamrambo

The one that gets me is sherbet.  There is no "r" in the 2nd syllable. 

Yumyum
Yumyum

I thought this article was interesting.  Or is it intristing?  Maybe I'll go to see a movie at the theeater this weekend.  Or is it theatre?  When it gets hot I'll jump in my ceement pond.  Or is it my cement pond?  Wait I don't have a ceement pond. 

So I'll drink a Coke to cool down.  Of course a Coke is a Dr. Pepper.  But it can't be a Dublin Dr. Pepper.  I'm in Houston and that's too far away. The Lawyures or is it Lawyers say I'm not allowed to drink a Coke if I want to drink it with shooger.  Or is it sugar?

TimothyH
TimothyH

I frankly wonder if there's a point to articles like this; I mean, if we freely admit that English pronounciation differs from the original French or whatever, then we are already saying it's okay to change how you say it to make it easier, so why does it really matter, especially with the words whose origin we don't personally know, if we don't correctly say it the already-wrong way listed in the dictionary?

apsaxe
apsaxe

expresso seems to be the French form.

apsaxe
apsaxe

That is actually an Italian-American way of pronouncing the word. Italian immigrants to the US anglicized Italian by dropping final vowels, e.g., min-a-stron instead of min-a-stron-ee

Kate
Kate

You'll find that it's you who can't pronounce it!  No doubt you say Wor-sester-shire!!!

Ahgao
Ahgao

..and the famous suitcase sandwich of my youth is sometime a 'soupcase sandwich'.....

Woolyback
Woolyback

...and of course the "of" in "falls off of" is redundant, strictly speaking, but that's a whole other discussion ;)

KJ
KJ

Such a fun discussion . . . as long as everyone remembers that the dictionaries referred to herein do not tell us what is "correct" -- rather what is merely in current usage.  The incorrect pronunciation of any given word can, given enough time, eventually make it into Webster's.

Copycat
Copycat

agree...it's worth a try to get these things right by 'early adopters', but it's probably no use, as evidenced by both Bruce's comment, and by Katherine's past comment about panini have suggested. Ironic.

Bruce R
Bruce R

Yes, and one salame, and two salami.  But we often don't make such distinctions and I'm glad we don't.

So if I'm in the mood for one panini, I might ask for that. 

Kimb
Kimb

Why would you pronounce 'tira' tierra?

Bruce R
Bruce R

 I heard someone order chicken at a Tex-Mex place.  She asked for the polio.

Bruce R
Bruce R

According to Webster's the correct pronunciation of crepe rhymes with grape.

Thomas Lake
Thomas Lake

Look again, Bamrambo! Some companies do spell it with a second r. Then again, some companies use "catsup" on their labels for what we all know is "ketchup!" (Let the war of words begin!)

Guest
Guest

It's so we can make fun of each other when someone gets it wrong - because we're awesome like that. =(

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...