Manchester is a melting pot of multi cultural cuisines - but do you really know how to pronounce what’s on the menu?

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Here are some pointers for correctly pronouncing the foods that often trip us up

From cacao to gnocchi, blancmange to nougat, rioja to semillon…we all think we have it pegged.

But who hasn’t winced when their friend misprounces quinoa or felt embarrassed at having to point to something on the menu just to clarify what you want?

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How many times are we actually ordering food and drink blissfully unaware our companion or indeed the waiter is dying just a little bit inside?

Manchester is home to multiple cuisines - from the long stretch of Indian restaurants on the famous Curry mile to its exquisite blend of Lebanese, Pan Asian, Greek, Italian and Spanish restaurants - just to name a small few.

But with so much foreign cuisine at our finger tips - when we order - are we getting it right?

prosciutto is often pronounced incorrectly prosciutto is often pronounced incorrectly
prosciutto is often pronounced incorrectly

Noël Wolf, Language Expert at Babbel comments: “In the UK, there are so many amazing restaurants and shops serving dishes and selling produce from all around the world. Food and drink is a big part of culture, and you can often learn a lot about another culture through familiarisation with its cuisine.

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However, sometimes Brits struggle with the names of foodstuffs which originate from languages other than English. We wanted to provide some pointers for correctly pronouncing some of the foods and wines that often trip-up English speakers.

According to members of Unichef, the National Chefs Union , the following are dishes and ingredients which most commonly prove a pronunciation challenge for British diners.

● Bruschetta

○ Broo-sket-uh

○ An Italian antipasto of grilled bread, often topped with tomatoes.

● Cacao

○ Ka-ka-u

○ The Hispanised name of the name of the cacao plant in indigenous Mesoamerican


● Chipotle

○ Chuh·powt·lay

○ Smoke-dried jalapeno chilli from Mexico.

● Ciabatta

○ Chuh-ba-tuh

○ Italian white bread.

● Gyro

○ Yee-roh

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○ Greek pita bread stuffed with rotisserie meat and other garnishes.

● Gnocchi

○ Nyoh-kee

○ Italian potato dumplings.

● Jalapeño

○ Ha-luh-pee-nyow

○ Chilli pepper from Mexico.

● Niçoise

○ Ni-swaaz

○ Salad originating from the French city of Nice.

● Prosciutto

○ Pruh-shoot-to

○ Italian dry-cured ham.

It’s pronounced  Pruh-shoot-toIt’s pronounced  Pruh-shoot-to
It’s pronounced Pruh-shoot-to

● Quesadilla

○ Kay-suh-dee-uh

○ Mexican dish of tortilla filled with cheese or other fillings.

Will you be tucking into Mexican food this weekend?Will you be tucking into Mexican food this weekend?
Will you be tucking into Mexican food this weekend?

● Quinoa

○ Kee-no-waa

○ Edible seed originating from South America.

● Rillette

○ Ree-yhet

○ French method for slow-cooking and preserving meat.

● Samphire

○ Sam-fai-uh

○ Succulent plant that grows near saltwater.

● Worcestershire sauce

○ Wu-stuh-shuh saws

○ Fermented condiment invented in Worcestershire by John Wheeley Lea and William

Henry Perrins.

Most often mispronounced bakes and desserts

According to Megan Goodman, professionally trained patisserie chef and Design and Project Manager at The Big Bakes, the following are bakes and desserts which most commonly prove a pronunciation challenge for British diners:

Cakes and desserts can also be pronounced wrong Cakes and desserts can also be pronounced wrong
Cakes and desserts can also be pronounced wrong

● Blancmange

○ Bluh-monj

○ A retro, sweet pudding made from milk or cream and sugar.

● Bundt cake

○ Buhnt kayk

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○ Distinctly donut-shaped cake from the US inspired by traditional European cakes.

● Croissant

○ Kwa-son

○ French pastry named after its crescent shape.

● Dacquoise

○ Da-kwaz

○ A French dessert cake made of layers of almond and hazelnut meringue, cream and a

biscuit base.

● Financiers

○ Fai-nan-see-uhz

○ Small almond cakes from France.

● Focaccia

○ Foh-kaht-tchah

○ Flat, leavened Italian bread.

● Genoise

○ Zhayn-wahz

○ Italian sponge cake named after the city of Genoa.

● Macaron vs macaroon

○ Ma-kuh-ruhn vs ma-kuh-roon

○ These are actually two different bakes: the former being a French, almond-based

sandwich cookie and the latter a coconut biscuit.

● Madeleines

○ Ma-duh-luhn

○ Small, traditional type of cake from northeastern France, baked in a special baking tin to

give a shell-like shape.

● Nougat

○ Noo-gaa

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○ A chewy candy made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts, whipped egg whites, and

sometimes chopped candied fruit.

● Pain au chocolat

○ Pan Oh Sho-kuh-lah

○ French pastry made from the same layered dough as a croissant, but containing

chocolate in the centre.

● Sacher torte

○ Sa-khuh taw-te

○ A chocolate cake originating from Austria, where it was invented by Franz Sacher.

● Scones

○ Skonz vs skohnz

○ The never-ending British debate over the pronunciation of these small sweet or savoury

cakes - always a winner on the menu.

● Simnel cake

○ Sim-nuhl kayk

○ A fruitcake from the UK decorated with marzipan and associated with Easter.

● Soufflé

○ Soo-flay

○ A baked egg dish originating from France.

Happy ordering....

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