DID you pronounce it right?



A few days back, I came across this interesting article on TimesCity about how we mispronounce food related words. While I passed their test with a good 90%, it definitely was an eye opener.

Believe me, it’s a blasphemy to mispronounce these common words especially when you are at an upscale fine dining restaurant and the server there knows how to pronounce them correctly. Smile with tongue out

So here I am to share with you 14 of these commonly mispronounced food words and their correct pronunciations.

  1. 1. Basil: Now you may think, who on earth can’t pronounce this word. But check the exact way to say it is (bay-zihl, ba-zihl) and not bay-sil.
  2. 2. Hummus: One of the most popular Mediterranean dips is often mispronounced. So its not humm-us or hume-us  but (hoom-us).

  3. 3. Mascarpone: The quintessential ingredient of my favorite dessert Tiramisu and a major part of most cheese cakes too, this is not pronounced as (Mah-skar-pone) but as (mah-skar-poh-nay).
  4. 4. Quinoa: Bulgar wheat, couscous are cousins to this interesting grain commonly used in salads. Well you call it (keen-wah) and not kin-oh-ah.

  5. 5. Worcestershire Sauce: If you watch cookery shows as much as I do, you must have heard this often or read it in recipe books. Complicated to spell but easy to pronounce, it is (woos-tuhr-shuhr).

  6. 6. Niçoise: For those of you who have heard this the first time like me, it’s a type of French Salad and pronounced correctly as (nee-swaahz) Salad.

  7. 7. Crudité: I have enjoyed these at many cocktail parties. But didn’t know that raw seasonal vegetables served with dip are called (kroo-dee-tay) in French. I am happy that this blog post added a new word to my food vocabulary.

  8. 8. Bruschetta: This is on the entrees list of most restaurants these days. But do we know how to say it right? A couple of years back, when I first ordered the dish, I too pronounced it incorrectly. In fact I heard one of the country’ famous chef’s mispronounce it too. Be careful when you say it – (broo-skeh-tah).

  9. 9. Caipirinha Did you know this is Brazil’s national cocktail? I didn’t know that too. But I did read it on the menu of many restaurants and didn’t know the actual pronunciation. Still learning. It is (kai-pee-reen-ya).
  10. 10. Fajitas: These Tex-Mex tacos served with grilled meat are a treat for the taste buds. They are simple to pronounce too. So its (fah-hee-tahs) and not Fa-jee-tas.
  11. 11. Guacamole: Another one from the dip category and a very popular one, this avocado dip is called (wah-cah-moe-lay) and not Gwah-ca-moli.
  12. 12. Hors d’oeuvres: This one is commonly used across cocktail parties. Your starters or small bites that do the rounds with drinks are called (ohr-derves) and not Hors-de-vores.
  13. 13. Paella: A very popular Spanish rice dish is gaining popularity in this part of the country as well. Read this out to your waiter correctly, unless you want to be mocked at in the kitchen. Say it loud twice (pie-aye-ya).
  14. 14. Sake: This famous herb or (erb) as som may pronounce it is (SAH-kay) and not Say-k as in “for the sake of it”


P.S. While there can be a huge debate about American and British pronunciations, these ones apply across the globe.

Do share your score in the comments section.


  1. reema nagra says:

    thanx was a ggr8 help always wantm to kno th correct way to say these words

  2. Joshua Mercott says:

    Wow! Bhakti, I’m inspired enough to comment ! :P This is cool! I learned a lot of stuff from this. If I hadn’t I’d have sounded like a pronunciation nightmare to the restaurants serving these dishes and worse, if those eateries actually have people coming from the foreign nations the foods hailed from. :D

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