by Kemp Minifie, Epicurious
Stewed-Tomato BruschettaWhat are the most frequently mispronounced foods in restaurants? Not surprisingly, this is a popular topic online. Chefs and waiters must howl with laughter back in the kitchen over diners' garbled attempts at sounding out the unfamiliar words on menus. To be fair though, chefs and waiters aren't always poster kids for proper pronunciation either, especially if they're cooking a cuisine that's not native to their heritage.
Eat24, an online restaurant food delivery website that covers many cities across the country, prides itself on preventing the possible embarrassment of foreign language-challenged individuals with the mere click of a mouse, but it compiled its own list of mispronunciations anyway, as a service for those who do venture into a brick and mortar restaurant. The list confirms America's continuing love affair with Italian, and the increasing popularity of Mexican, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, and South American food. Counting down:
10. Bruschetta: (broo-sket-tah, not broo-shedda)
It has nothing to do with a brush. Given the enormous quantities of Italian food Americans consume, why haven't we learned to speak a little Italian? The "ch" in Italian words gets the "k" sound. Meanwhile, "ci" or "ce" gets the soft "ch" sound. So ceci, the Italian word for chickpea, is pronounced che-chee. Got it?
9. Gnocchi: (nyawk-kee, not ga-nachee)
Calling it potato pasta doesn't sound nearly as sexy.
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8. Espresso: (e-spres-oh, not ex-presso)
Express your love over a cup of espresso.
7. Chipotle: (chi-poht-ley, not chi-pottel)
It's a mystery to me why this insanely popular smoked dried jalapeno, which is the namesake of a huge chain of fast-food restaurants, still befuddles its fans.
6. Beignet: (ben-yay, not beg-net)
Anyone who's been to New Orleans shouldn't make this mistake.
5. Sriracha: Eat 24 maintains it's shree-ra-cha, according to the official Sriracha website (I didn't find the pronunciation there), but The New York Times says it's SIR-rotch-ah, and they interviewed the operations manager, as well as the founder of its manufacturer, Huy Fong Foods. I'm siding with The New York Times on this one.
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4. Quinoa: (keen-wah, not kwin-no-a)
It may be the hip hot pseudo-grain from the Andes, but too many people still butcher its name.
3. Gyro: (yee-row or zheer-oh, but not ji-ro)
If you remember it rhymes with hero, you'll never make that mistake again.
2. Quesadilla (key-suh-dee-uh, not kwes-ah-dilla)
You've eaten enough of these to get it right from now on.
1. Pho: (fuh, not fo)
Sadly, this one-syllable word sounds more like a grunt, and doesn't begin to convey how complexly wonderful a bowl of pho can be!
So what would you add to this list?
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by Kemp Minifie, Epicurious