13 Foods From Around the World You've Been Pronouncing Wrong Your Whole Life

Nutella hazelnut spread
Nutella hazelnut spread | © Oleksandr Prokopenko / Alamy Stock Photo
It’s super embarrassing when you confidently ask for a delicious-sounding menu item, only to have the server snigger at your mangled pronunciation.

When you’re visiting a different country, it’s easy to mispronounce food you’ve never eaten or seen before; important thing is to always give a go and accept that everyone makes mistakes.

But just in case you want to avoid warm cheeks and the feeling of humiliation, we’ve assembled a list of hard-to-pronounce foods that could trip your tongue up, from Spanish sausages to Italian chocolate spread. We can’t promise that you won’t make a language blunder on your travels ever again, but this should certainly help.

Chorizo

Spicy sausage, often served fried as tapas.

Chorizo cured meat shop © Tim Graham / Alamy Stock Photo

Provenance: Spain

How you probably say it: chur-rits-oh

How you should say it: cho-ree-tho

Pho

Spicy noodle soup with chilli and herbs.

Beef brisket pho © Felix Choo / Alamy Stock Photo

Provenance: Vietnam

How you probably say it: fo

How you should say it: fuh

Sriracha

Chilli-garlic hot sauce.

Bowl and bottle of sriracha sauce © Martí sans / Alamy Stock Photo

Provenance: Thailand

How you probably say it: sree-rah-cha

How you should say it: see-rach-cha

Acai

A berry often frozen and served in a blended smoothie bowl.

Acai bowl © Vanessa Rung / Alamy Stock Photo

Provenance: South America

How you probably say it: a-ky

How you should say it: a-sigh-ee

Quinoa

Grain with a nutty, creamy taste.

Quinoa salad © Rohit Seth / Alamy Stock Photo

Provenance: Peru and Bolivia

How you probably say it: quin-oh-ah

How you should say it: keen-wah

Maraschino cherry

Cherry preserved in syrup, often coloured red. Use in cocktails or as a sundae garnish.

Provenance: Croatia

How you probably say it: mare-uh-sheeno

How you should say it: mare-uh-skeeno

Nutella

Chocolate-hazelnut spread beloved around the world.

Nutella pizza © Food for Thought / Alamy Stock Photo

Provenance: Italy

How you probably say it: nuh-tell-ah

Seitan

A meat alternative made from wheat gluten, with a mild taste and meaty texture.

Grilled seitan slices © Adelina / Alamy Stock Photo

Provenance: China

How you probably say it: see-tan

How you should say it: say-tan

Espresso

A short, strong shot of black coffee.

Double espresso © Magdalena Paluchowska / Alamy Stock Photo

Provenance: Italy

How you probably say it: ex-press-oh

How you should say it: es-press-oh

Anise

A star-shaped spice used in Asian cooking, with flavours of liquorice and aniseed.

Provenance: Southwest Asia

How you probably say it: ah-nees

How you should say it: ann-iss

Hummus

A dip made from mashed chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon, olive oil and garlic.

Preparing Hummus © PS-I / Alamy Stock Photo

Provenance: Middle East

How you probably say it: hum-iss

How you should say it: hoom-is

Endive

A bitter-leafed, crunchy vegetable.

Leafy endive © victimewalker / Alamy Stock Photo

Provenance: Belgium

How you probably say it: en-dive

How you should say it: on-deeve