Which 10 food names are the most commonly mispronounced?

Vietname Phở, photo by Simply Recipes.

Many people struggle to pronounce the names of certain foods. The rental property search engine Holidu has compiled a list of the top 10 most commonly mispronounced food names, along with their correct pronunciations. The list was published in Daily Mail on Wednesday.

Researchers collected 100 foreign foods that many people have a tough time pronouncing. Then they found the search volume of each food by typing in phrases such as “How to pronounce [food name],” “[food name] pronunciation,” and “How do you say [food name].”

At the top of the list is acai, a popular Brazilian berry with 65,350 monthly searches on how to say it correctly. The correct pronunciation is ‘ah-sah-ee.’ The berry is native to the Amazon rainforest and is used in smoothies, juices, granola bars, and cereal. Acai is particularly trendy among people who consider themselves health nuts. The berry has high levels of antioxidants and fibre.

In second place is charcuterie, the French method of preparing and aesthetically assembling cured meats, cheeses, and other foods. There are a total of 49,550 searches every month related to the dish’s pronunciation. The correct pronunciation is ‘shaa-koo-tuh-ree.’

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Charcuterie, photo by Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Coming in at third place is Gnocchi, the Italian potato dumpling, with over 45,000 monthly searches on how to say it. The correct pronunciation is ‘Naw-kee,’ with the ‘g’ being silent.

Fourth on the list is pho, the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup, with the correct pronunciation being ‘fuh.’ The food name in fourth place is pronounced nothing like its spelt: Phở. The Vietnamese noodle and meat soup has gained popularity around the world. Yet, many people still think it is pronounced ‘po,’ when it is actually pronounced ‘fuh.’ A total of 22,770 people search for the word’s pronunciation each month.

Quinoa, the Andean grain that has become a staple in many dishes, is the fifth most mispronounced food name, with 18,090 monthly searches. The correct pronunciation is ‘keen-wah.’

Which 10 food names are the most commonly mispronounced? | News by Thaiger
Quinoa, photo by Eat Well.

Other foods on the list include bouillabaisse, bruschetta, quiche, sriracha, and tzatziki. Below is the entire list of the 10 most mispronounced food names, with the number of monthly searches for each food.

Which 10 food names are the most commonly mispronounced? | News by Thaiger

So, the next time you’re staring at a menu and feel uncertain about how to pronounce a particular dish, remember these correct pronunciations and order with confidence.


Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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