12 Food and drink names you've probably been completely mispronouncing

12 Food and drink names you've probably been completely mispronouncing

We all dread finding ourselves in a situation where you're ordering something off the menu and you completely butcher the name to the bemusement of the server, probably thinking "silly uncultured swine" as they mutter the correct way. Either that, or you feel so insecure about your ability to pronounce a word that we resort to simply pointing at the menu and saying "that one".

To help people avoid embarrassing incidents at restaurants or bars, the Holiday Place put together a "dining dictionary" to help people pronounce food and drinks properly. Here are 12 food and drink names you've probably been completely mispronouncing.

1. Espresso

However, people often mispronounce the name of their favorite drink as "ex-PRES-oh." The correct way to pronounce the name of this strong and highly concentrated coffee is "ehs-PRES-oh."

2. Paella

Delicious and hearty, the Spanish dish is usually made with rice, vegetables, shellfish, and chicken. The name of the dish, however, can seem intimidating to non-Spanish speakers. The easiest way to pronounce paella is by saying "pie-YAY-ahh."

3. Turmeric

Native to India and other parts of Asia, turmeric is often ground into a vibrant orange-coloured powder that is used to colour and flavour foods in many Asian cuisines, especially curries. Many people don't realise that turmeric is actually pronounced "TER-muh-rihk."

4. Daiquiri

One of the most beloved cocktails of all the time, the daiquiri is a Cuban drink made of rum, citrus juice, and sugar. People often have difficulty saying the name right — especially after they've had a couple of daiquiris. The correct way to pronounce this Cuban cocktail is "DAH-kih-ree."

5. Gratin

Gratin is a culinary technique from France where an ingredient - such as potato or pumpkin - is topped with a browned crust of breadcrumbs and melted cheese. Even though it might be tempting to pronounce the name of this type of dish as "GRAH-tin" or something like that, it is actually pronounced "grah-TAHN".

6. Croissant 

Despite the croissant's ubiquity, it seems that most of us are pronouncing the pastry's name completely wrong. Most people call the pastry a "kruh-SAHNT." However, according to its original French pronunciation, it should be called "kwah-SAHN," where the "t" is silent and the "r" is under-emphasized.

7. Parmesan

A lot of people enjoy parmesan cheese grated over pasta or meat, but it's also a tasty snack all by itself. Whether your "snack" turns out to be an entire block of the stuff or not, most of us have probably been saying it wrong this whole time. While many people call it "PAH-muh-jahn," the name of this hard cheese is actually pronounced "PAHR-muh-zahn."

8. Ricotta

Another cheese to be mindful of. While it is often mispronounced as "ree-KAH-tah," it is actually pronounced "ree-KOH-tah."

9. Ceviche

Ceviche is a seafood dish that is popular throughout Latin America. Although people might feel tempted to pronounce the "v" in the word, the name of this delicious dish is actually pronounced "seh-BEE-tche."

10. Mai Tai

A refreshing drink made of rum, Curacao liqueur, orgeat syrup, and lime juice, the Mai Tai is an American cocktail that is often associated with Polynesian-style settings. While it can be tempting to pronounce it as "MAY TAY," it is actually pronounced "MY TIE."

11. Pinot noir

Ordering pinot noir at a bar or restaurant will make you seem like a sophisticated wine connoisseur, but only if you pronounce it correctly. While many people pronounce it incorrectly as "PEE-not NEE-or," it is actually pronounced "PEE-noh NWAHR."

12. Caipirinha

Sticking with the beverages, the national cocktail of Brazil, the caiprinha is a simple but delicious drink made with sugarcane hard liquor, sugar, and lime. The drink itself may be simple and straightforward, but the name is not. This refreshing cocktail is pronounced "kai-pee-REEN-yah."

While you can now candidly pronounce all the essentials, I can't help with the anxiety attack you get when the restaurant gets your order wrong, or when you don't like the food they serve.