And so does pronunciation

13 Foods From Around the World You’ve Been Pronouncing Wrong Your Whole Life

Picture of Alice Johnston

Food Editor

Updated: 9 April 2018

It’s super embarrassing when you confidently ask for a delicious-sounding menu item, only to have the server snigger at your mangled pronunciation.

When you’re visiting a different country, it’s easy to mispronounce food you’ve never eaten or seen before; important thing is to always give a go and accept that everyone makes mistakes.

But just in case you want to avoid warm cheeks and the feeling of humiliation, we’ve assembled a list of hard-to-pronounce foods that could trip your tongue up, from Spanish sausages to Italian chocolate spread. We can’t promise that you won’t make a language blunder on your travels ever again, but this should certainly help.




Spicy sausage, often served fried as tapas.

Provenance: Spain

How you probably say it: chur-rits-oh

How you should say it: cho-ree-tho


Spicy noodle soup with chilli and herbs.

Provenance: Vietnam

How you probably say it: fo

How you should say it: fuh




Grain with a nutty, creamy taste.

Provenance: Peru and Bolivia

How you probably say it: quin-oh-ah

How you should say it: keen-wah


Chilli-garlic hot sauce.

Provenance: Thailand

How you probably say it: sree-rah-cha

How you should say it: see-rach-cha




A berry often frozen and served in a blended smoothie bowl.

Provenance: South America

How you probably say it: a-ky

How you should say it: a-sigh-ee

Maraschino cherry

Cherry preserved in syrup, often coloured red. Use in cocktails or as a sundae garnish.

Provenance: Croatia

How you probably say it: mare-uh-sheeno

How you should say it: mare-uh-skeeno


nougat-272934_640 (1)

nougat-272934_640 (1)

Chocolate-hazelnut spread beloved around the world.

Provenance: Italy

How you probably say it: nuh-tell-ah

How you should say it: noo-tell-ah


A meat alternative made from wheat gluten, with a mild taste and meaty texture.

Provenance: China

How you probably say it: see-tan

How you should say it: say-tan




A short, strong shot of black coffee.

Provenance: Italy

How you probably say it: ex-press-oh

How you should say it: es-press-oh


A dip made from mashed chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon, olive oil and garlic.

Provenance: Middle East

How you probably say it: hum-iss

How you should say it: hoom-is




A star-shaped spice used in Asian cooking, with flavours of liquorice and aniseed.

Provenance: Southwest Asia

How you probably say it: ah-nees

How you should say it: ann-iss


A bitter-leafed, crunchy vegetable.

Provenance: Belgium

How you probably say it: en-dive

How you should say it: on-deeve

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