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16 Foods We've Been Pronouncing Wrong - And How To Say Them

Updated September 29, 2021 3.9k votes 475 voters 18.5k views16 items

List RulesVote up the foods you've been saying wrong - until now.

Have you ever tried to order at a restaurant, but don't know how to say what you want? The food name itself is unfamiliar, maybe even spelled in a way that could be pronounced a myriad of ways, and you don't want to get it wrong.

This type of struggle with word pronunciation isn't exclusive to foods. A lack of familiarity and odd spellings aren't the only challenges that exist when it comes to words and language. Using words properly in context, getting that turn of phrase right, or even talking about historical figures and celebrities can all be tricky. 

After learning the names of some commonly mispronounced foods, you can go ahead and order them, confident you are now pronouncing "bruschetta" et al. correctly. 

  • Sriracha, the tasty chili sauce with a kick, is Thai in origin. Since sriracha was purportedly first made in the town of Si Racha in Thailand, it's believed that's where the word comes from.

    Sriracha is often pronounced "sir-AH-chah," but the proper way to say it is "see-RAH-chah." The inventor of the sauce, Vietnamese refugee David Tran, agrees.

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    • Derived from the Italian verb "bruscare" - to toast - bruschetta is a relatively recent word. The first known use of bruschetta dates to 1954

      When Americans pronounce it, they usually say "broo-SHEH-tah," but the Italian version is "broo-SKEH-tah." The latter, according to foodies and native Italian speakers, is correct. 

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      • Rooibos is a South African shrub (AKA Aspalathus linearis) whose leaves are often used to make hot or cold teas. The word literally means "red bush." 

        Saying rooibos is tricky because of the numerous vowels. The correct pronunciation of the Afrikaans word is "ROY-bos."

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        • Contrary to how many people say turmeric, the first "r" in the word isn't silent. The correct pronunciation of the spice - also the name of the plant from which it is derived - is "TER-muh-rihk."

          Turmeric isn't used only for cooking, however. It's also used in Western and non-Western medicine to reduce swelling and inflammation.   

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