Recipes

The 20 Most Commonly Mispronounced Food Words

I will never forget attempting to teach my ex-husband, a Brit who found himself confronted with cross-cultural confusion at every turn ("That is not a biscuit; it's a cookie." "You can't call a woman a 'silly c*nt' or she will slap you."), how to pronounce the word taco. As a Texan it's not a word we tend to over-think. But my ex could never quite grasp it and continues to call this omnipresent food a "tack-oh" to this day.

Of course, it was he who finally taught me the proper way to pronounce Worcestershire sauce, despite being confused that we insist on adding the -shire suffix to it; back in England, it's simply called Worcester sauce, pronounced "wooh-ster" sauce.

There are still words that, even as a food critic, occasionally trip me up when I run across them. Running into cachaça for the first time stumped me, and I still don't know whether I should say "en-dive" or "ahn-deev" when referring that tasty chicory.

We polled our readers for their most commonly mispronounced words, and I wasn't surprised to see that French food terms -- this applies to Cajun foodstuffs, too -- top the list for confusion. "Brunoise, vichyssoise, anything French and ending in -se," as EOW blogger Nicholas L. Hall put it, still trip up diners after all these years.

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Katharine Shilcutt