More Than a Mouthful

A combination of increased travel and ever-growing multi-cultural society is helping to fuel diversity on our plates. Our diets have never been as diverse as they are today – thanks to the likes of Deliveroo and quirky new high street chains bringing international cuisine quite literally to our doorstep.

Of course, with new foods and dishes come previously-unheard-of names to call them by – and they're not always easy to pronounce. Recent arrivals such as Pho (originating from Vietnam) and Kombucha (popular in both China and Japan) have proved problematic for Brits. Over the past two years, there has been a 182.3% increase in Google searches for the correct pronunciation of ‘Kombucha' alone. With both our takeaway menus and shopping lists looking ever more exotic, the linguistic conundrums seem set to continue.

Thankfully, we're going to help you get ahead of the game. Working alongside Global Food trends & ideas agency, The Food People, we've pinned down fifteen up-and-coming foods that we Brits may struggle to pronounce. Discover more about these – before listening to their correct pronunciations – below.

  • Poke

    {po-kay}

    Poke is a raw fish salad traditional to Hawaii. Typically served in a bowl, it is usually comprised of rice layered up with raw (or lightly smoked) fish and fresh veggies – but can be customised to include any combination of fruit, pickles, garnish… you name it!

  • Mofongo

    {mo-fonn-go}

    Mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish of fried green plantain, which is typically smashed and stuffed with/served alongside hearty fillings such as chicharrón (crispily fried pork rinds).

  • Pili Nuts

    {pee-lee}

    Pili nuts originate in the Philippines and have a rich, buttery taste and soft texture. Traditionally used to make sweets and nut brittle, but are now being used as a health ingredient for snacking, nut butter and dairy-free alternatives.

  • Zhug

    {s-kh-oog}

    Zhug is a super-herbaceous, Yemenite hot sauce. There are many variations, but most recipes contain herbs (coriander, parsley or both), lemons/ limes, chillies (red or green), garlic and spices (e.g. cumin, cardamom or caraway).

  • Freekeh

    {free-kuh}

    Freekeh is a type of grain made from unripe durum wheat which is roasted and cracked. It has a chewy texture, and a distinctive smoky and nutty flavour.

  • Seitan

    {say-tann}

    Seitan is a protein-rich, vegan meat alternative which is made from the gluten in wheat (hence the reason that it sometimes gets the nickname "wheat meat").

  • Horchata

    {orr-char-ta}

    Horchata is a traditional Spanish and South American drink with a sweet cinnamon flavour, commonly used to flavour cakes, bakes and desserts.

  • Tempeh

    {tem-pey}

    Tempeh is a vegetarian source of protein made from whole fermented soybeans and has a nutty, earthy flavour.

  • Fonio

    {phone-yo}

    Fonio is a very small grain which is the oldest cereal to be cultivated in Africa. It is naturally gluten-free and is being used in the same way as couscous to make salads and stews.

  • Ube

    {oob-beh}

    Ube is a purple yam originating in Asia which is making a splash on Instagram thanks to its bright violet hue appearing in cheesecakes, milkshakes and ice creams.

  • Jujube

    {joo-joo-bee}

    Jujube is hailed as a "superfruit", jujube tastes similar to dates when dried, and can be used in a similar way to add a fruity sweetness to baking.

  • quark

    {kwark}

    Quark is a soft cream cheese with a fresh, natural flavour popular in Germany and Scandinavia, that is fast becoming a firm favourite with the health-conscious thanks to its high protein content.

  • Uyghur

    {ooi-ghoor}

    Uyghur cuisine hails from China's Xinjiang province which brings together the culinary traditions of China, Central Asia and the Middle East. Expect dishes such as hand-pulled noodles, dumplings, spiced meat skewers and freshly baked flatbreads.

  • Kernza

    {Kern-za}

    Kernza is a sweet and nutty grain related to domesticated wheat. It is however, a perennial grain and thus has huge environmental and agricultural benefits which is why it has been dubbed a ‘super grain'.

  • Sisig

    {Si-sig}

    Sisig is a traditional Filipino dish made from pig's head (face, ears, cheeks & snout) and liver, seasoned with vinegar, ‘calamansi' juice and chopped onions. The meat is boiled and then grilled and fried until crispy and served with an egg on top, alongside garlic rice.

Do you trip up over your Tzatziki or stumble when you try to pronounce Sriracha? Be sure to let us know what words you find tricky over on social! You can also explore lots of great food-spiration over on our blog.

Magnet

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