Just imagine for a second that you’re out at a new restaurant and there’s a bunch of different things on the menu. You decide to order something new, something that sounds really good, but you have no idea what it actually is. From the description on the menu, you have an idea of something that looks and tastes amazing, but once the server gets to your table, your plate looks like nothing like you initially expected. It’s probably because you had no idea what the heck you actually ordered.
There are so many foods that have misleading names that sound amazing to eat, but then you realize they are nothing like what they sound like. It’s almost like the people who made up these crazy names wanted to trick you into trying these ingredients. For me, it definitely doesn’t hurt to try something new, but I know a lot of people would prefer to know what they’re actually going to eat. The following are just a few examples of foods with misleading names so you won’t be caught off guard next time you’re at a new restaurant.
If you like barbecue you’ve probably heard of pulled pork. A staple in the Carolinas, pulled pork barbeque is most commonly prepared using pork butt. Most of you are probably thinking – “we’re eating meat from a pork’s butt?” Well, not really. Pork butt is actually just another name for pork shoulder. So don’t fret because you’re not actually eating a pig’s behind. But to be completely honest with you, even if it did come from a pig’s butt, I really wouldn’t mind because just saying the words “pulled pork barbecue” is enough for me to move past it.
Rocky Mountain Oysters
You would think these oysters are from the Rocky Mountain area, but you’ll be surprised to learn that these “oysters” actually come from a very special part of the cow. And when I say special, you’d never think that this mid-west delicacy is actually bull’s testicles. The most common preparation is to simply deep fry them because it’s probably the only way most people would even dare to eat these “oysters.” Whoever came up with this dish definitely wanted to trick people into eating it because they actually look like fried oysters.
A specialty from our neighbors to the North, this sweet treat sounds a lot more daunting than it actually is. Beavertail is really just fried dough dusted with a bit of cinnamon sugar. Other variations include topping it with chocolate or even fruit depending on where you get it. This is definitely a reason to consider visiting Canada in the near future.
Who doesn’t love cheese, right? Well, this will definitely leave you surprised if you order it on a whim because head cheese is really a terrine of various parts of an animal’s head. This is definitely something to try for those adventurous eaters out there. For those of you who order it because of the word cheese, you’ll be lucky to find it commonly being served alongside other charcuterie meats as well as some cheese on the side. So I guess you’ll still be getting some cheese that you will be able to recognize.
Pronounced “gooey duck,” this ingredient has, in fact, no form of duck in it at all. Geoduck is actually a gigantic clam. They look a lot more interesting than they seem. It’s a delicacy that is very approachable and commonly served in crudo style, which just means it’s served raw. Serving it in crudo style allows you to taste the fresh flavors geoduck has to offer.
I love pudding, and when I first heard of black pudding I automatically thought it was just another name for chocolate pudding. I was surprised to learn that this is actually another name for blood sausage. Black pudding can commonly be found in Britain where it is made up of a combination of pork’s blood, oatmeal and barley. In comparison to other variations of blood sausage, in which the sausage is heavily seasoned with spices to try and mask some of the irony taste, the British version is very upfront because you will definitely be tasting that pork’s blood flavor.
Bubble and Squeak/Toad in the Hole
The British have done it again, making up dishes with names that are completely misleading. Bubble and squeak sounds like it would be a nice sparkling drink or something, but really it’s just a vegetable patty. Toad in the hole, on the other hand, does not have any remnants of toad in it at all. It’s really just a dish made up of a sausage baked into a Yorkshire pudding; again this is not actually a pudding, it’s more like a pastry. Those sneaky English people, always trying to make their dishes sound nothing like what they actually are.
This, in my opinion, is the most notorious of the foods on this misleading names list. Sweetbreads sounds great, right? It literally sounds like you’re going to get a doughnut or some kind of bread doused with honey and sugar or something sweet. This will be a shocking revelation to most, but sweetbreads is actually the thymus gland of a calf. It’s really not as bad as it sounds so definitely give it a try if you get the chance.
This is just my two cents, but most truffle oils don’t actually contain any truffles at all. Most restaurants and grocery stores will have truffle oil at relatively cheap prices, but when you realize what the truffle oil they’re actually serving is made up of, you won’t be tempted to order it at a restaurant again. It’s most commonly made up of a chemical known as “thioether,” which is what makes the oil so fragrant and gives off the impression of the truffle flavor that it’s falsely advertising. So next time you see it on the menu, be aware because you’re not getting any truffles at all, it’s just an excuse for restaurants to charge you a couple extra bucks.