Almonds in wooden bowl on wooden table background

10 foods that you're almost certainly mispronouncing

No one likes to hear that they can’t talk properly. Friends and families have all fought over different pronunciations for decades, in what is one of the thorniest issues in English. As anyone whose glanced at a menu knows, food is no exception.

In order to diffuse any potentially awkward dinner discussions, we’ve prepared a handy guide for the proper pronunciations of all things foodie. Taken from definitive examples in Holiday Places’ “Dining Dictionary”, hopefully this should put a stop to any more linguistic bickering. So, once and for all, here are the correct way to pronounce 10 foods that almost everyone always gets wrong.

dictionary closeup Credit: Pixabay

1. Mole

It might be spelled like a small, brown burrower, but this Mexican staple sounds nothing like its furry namesake. Though it might be tricky for non-Spanish speakers, the correct way to pronounce the word is “MOH-lay”.

2. Worcestershire Sauce

English counties are understandably baffling to anyone who isn’t introduced to them at an early age, and Worcestershire is one of the weirdest. Despite all the errant “c’s” and “s’s”, the correct pronunciation is actually “WOOS-tuhr-shuhr”.

3. Turmeric

Famous for its powers as an antioxidant, turmeric is a feature of many famous Asian dishes. Though everyone agrees that it’s good for you, people are less unified when it comes to how to pronounce it. It should be said, “TER-muh-rikh”.

turmeric root Credit: Pixabay

4. Almonds

Ever popular, debate over how to pronounce almonds has raged for decades. Though we don’t expect anyone to really be persuaded either way, we can reveal that the correct pronunciation is in fact “AH-munds” - the “l” is silent.

Almonds in a bowl Credit: Pixabay

5. Hummus

Though this Greek starter has been a favourite of health food fans and middle class families for years, most people don’t realise that they’ve been saying it wrong the entire time. Rather than the harsh “HUHM-uhs”, the chickpea spread should be pronounced “HOOM-uhs”.

Hummus in a plate Credit: Pixabay

6. Acai

As a rule, four-letter words tend to be pretty straightforward. Acai is a notable exception. Despite looking like the cry of a stricken pokemon, acai is in fact pronounced “AH-sigh-EE”.

7. Chorizo

Though no one outside of Spain is likely to give you grief for getting this wrong, it’s always useful to know where you might be making a mistake. Instead of the Anglicised “chuh-REE-zoh”, this spicy sausage should actually be said, “cho-REE-thoh”.

8. Espresso

No matter how many times we order it, we’ve all slipped an accidental “x” into this Italian coffee favourite at some point. As most people will be well aware, espresso should pronounced “ehs-PRESS-oh”.

9. Parmesan

On both sides of the Atlantic, there are several strange ways that cooks describe this famous Italian hard cheese. As opposed to the commonly used but erroneous “PAH-muh-jahn”, the correct pronunciation is “PAHR-muh-zahn”.

10. Quinoa

As it’s become more popular, we’ve become considerably less confused by this weird look word. Despite the profusion of vowels, quinoa is actually pronounced, “KEEN-wah”.

quinoa bowl Credit: Pixabay

Of course, we aren’t foolish enough to think that this will really help stop any linguistic arguments. When it comes to language, people tend to be enormously stubborn. However, if you do happen to be in the right, at least you’ll have a little extra firepower for future debates.

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