It’s hard to enjoy a global smorgasbord of food without making a few mistakes in the pronunciation of the names. Most servers are too polite to correct a customer’s stumbling request for foie gras (pronounced ‘fwah-grah’) or bouillabaisse (pronounced ‘boo-ya-bes’), and so people can go years without realizing the proper way to say the name of a food. Here are some common foods that get the worst treatment when it comes to pronunciation.
-Macaron (pronounced ‘mah-kah-ROHN’): A macaron is a French, cream-filled cookie, but the pronunciation is often confused with macaroons, a small, cake-like baked good (both macarons and macaroons are delicious).
-Crème fraîche (pronounced ‘crehm-frash’): This soured cream is often used in hot sauces and thickening.
-Escargot (pronounced ‘es-car-goh’): Hopefully, you won’t have to use this one too often — escargot is French for snails, and this dish is served by removing the snails from their shells, cooking them and replacing them. Easy on the salt.
-Pho (pronounced ‘fuh’): This delicious Vietnamese noodle soup is often a favorite among American visitors to Vietnamese restaurants, though the dish is usually butchered when spoken by English tongues.
-Mascarpone (pronounced ‘mas-kah-pohn-eh’): This poor Italian cheese sounds like a cousin of Al Capone rather than the main ingredient to tiramisu cake.
-Panko (pronounced ‘pahn-koh’): A useful and popular Japanese breading used in the United States as well, this product is often given a hard-A sound, rather than the Japanese soft A.
-Sherbet (pronounced ‘sher-bit’): Somewhere along the way, this colorful and tangy ice cream got another ‘R’ shoved into it, and is commonly (and incorrectly) called “sherbert.”