How To

How to correctly pronounce these tricky food names

Fancy yourself as a bit of a foodie? Love to talk about all things food and drink? Well you may want to check your pronunciation guide for these ones.
Gnocchi - easy to eat, hard to pronounce

When it comes to all things edible, most foodies like to think they get it right when talking about their favourite dish or drink.

But many probably don’t even realise they may have been getting it all wrong when it comes to actually pronouncing these delights.

If you’re a lover of fancy meals, or a fan of dishes like quinoa, or French or Italian food and wine, you’ll know there’s a certain way of saying it correctly. But are you really as clever as you think you think you are when it comes to food?

Whether you’re a simple steak and veg person or consider yourself a fine food connoisseur, you have probably been guilty of mispronouncing a dish or drink incorrectly without even realising.

Here are ten foods and drinks that will leave even the biggest foodies checking their pronunciation guides.


Commonly referred to as “kin-o-wa”, the South American seed has grown in popularity due to its reputation as a super food. That’s a food that’s so good for you it’s beyond healthy. But next time you order a quinoa salad while sipping on your soy decaf flat white remember to ask for “kin-wah” instead.

Now that you know how to say it, why not try this [quinoa porridge] (|target=”_blank”) recipe? Perfect for brekky!

quinoa porridge


Another Latin delight, this spicy food is found on anything ranging from pizzas to salads and sauces. But before you ask to hold the “Ja-la-pe-no” be sure to drop the J and say “hah-lah-peh-nyoh”. Either way, don’t get all hot under the collar about it.

Or do, by making our spicy jalapeno pizza.


This precious nut has become popular both as a widely-enjoyed healthy snack as well as among hipsters who look to it as an alternative to soy milk in their coffees. But did you know it’s not actually pronounced “al-mund”? In fact the ‘l’ should actually be silent to sound more like “ah-mund”. Yeah, that’s nuts right?

And you’ll go nuts for this delicious nectarine and almond tarte tatin.


Speaking of nuts, this popular breakfast spread and snack isn’t actually pronounced “nut-ella” at all. Rather, Italian manufacturer Ferrero has revealed it should be said very differently. So next time you take the hazelnut spread off the shelf, be sure to say “noo-tella”. Or not – as even its maker admits it doesn’t care how it’s really said.

Chocolate, check! Nutella, check! Cute dessert in a mug, check! It’s time for Nutella mug puddings!


This favourite Middle-Eastern dip which can be spelt different ways should really be said just one way. The food which can sometimes be confused with “hommas” or “hoo-moos” should be said as “hu-mus” with a soft ‘u’.

Just because there’s only one correct way to say ‘hummus’ doesn’t mean you can’t change up the recipe a little. Try our divine roasted parsnip hummus recipe.


A universal easy drinking red mastered by the French leaves English speakers somewhat using the wrong pronunciation. It’s not “mer-low” at all and instead should be said with a French flavour to be closer to “mare-low”.


Who doesn’t love a good glass of bubbles? Well, we may be a fan of the yellow gold drink but chances are you’ve been ordering from the bar all wrong. According to the French, it should be pronounced as “shawm-pine.” But anyone scared of sounding a little try hard can make it easy for themselves and just call it bubbles instead.


If the Italians had wanted us to say “mars-cap-own” they would have said so. Really it’s enough to cheese any Italian off. Rather, the cream cheese should be called “mas-car-pon-ay”. Got it?

The Italians would probably also not approve of using mascarpone in this very English dessert. But we think this berry mascarpone trifle is delicious.



The single shot coffee drink is little in size but big in taste, so naturally the Italians look a little confused when Aussie visitors turn up and order an “express-o”. The only thing quick about this humble drink is not how it is said, but rather how quickly it enters the bloodstream and wakes you up.

There’s only one thing better than a shot of espresso. It’s espresso in cake form. Say hello our wicked five-layer chocolate espresso cake.


Pronounced closer to “nyohk-kee”, many diners have been guilty of calling it “knock-ki” or even “no-key” as though they’re patting their pockets at a locked door. The soft doughy dumplings may be easy to eat, but saying it correctly is obviously a lot harder than many of us care to admit. At least you now know for next time.

Your family will thank you for this dish, even if you don’t say it correctly! Introducing our baked gnocchi and meatballs recipe

Bon appétit!

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