10 Foods With Surprising Names

These foods might not be what you think they are!

In most cases the names and references to foods or dishes gives you a clear indication of what the food is made of. In some cases, the name explains how a food is made. However, some food seem to not follow these guidelines at all, and seem to be deliberately misleading. The list below contains some of interesting food names, and an explaining of what they are—you'll need it!

10. Rocky Mountain Oysters

Rocky Mountain Oysters are also referred to as Calf Fries or Prairie Oysters in Canada. It is a type of western American and Canadian prank-dish. Rocky Mountain Oysters, contrary to their name, contain no oysters or seafood of any type, and are instead fried cattle testicles. Sheep and mountain goat testicles are also sometimes used. The testicles are peeled, coated with flour, salt, and pepper, and sometimes pounded flat. The result is then deep fried and served as an appetizer.

9. Sweetbreads

#9 Sweetbreads

Sweetbread refers to a dish made up of the thymus or pancreas of a young animal, usually a calf or lamb. Sometimes beef or pork is used, although this is rare. This dish is usually prepared by soaking the thymus or pancreas in water, then boiling it in milk. The outer membrane is then removed, after which it is coated with bread and fried. Sweetbread preparation varies from culture to culture. Sweetbreads made from the thymus is referred to as gullet, throat or neck sweetbread, while sweetbreads made from the pancreas is referred to as belly, heart, or stomach sweetbread. Other glands like the parotid and sublingual can also make sweetbreads. The name could have originated from "sweet" in reference to the sweet and rich thymus taste, combined with brede which means "roast meat".

8. Headcheese

#8 Headcheese

Headcheese is a lunch meat with origins from Europe. Head cheese is meat jelly made from the head of a calf, pig, sheep, or cow. The term “headcheese” is common in North America, “brawn” in Britain and Australia, “potted heid” in Sotland. A picked headcheese is referred to as “souse” in North American and West Indian dishes. The preparation varies, although it is common to remove eyes, ears, and the brain. Some users include the tongue, heart and feet. The head cheese is then spiced with black pepper, onion, salt, bay leaf, allspice, and vinegar.

7. Tripe

Tripe is a dish made from the stomach lining of sheep, cattle or any other ruminant. The cleaning and whitening of tripe is done by a professional tripe dresser. Beef tripe is made from the muscle lining of the first three sections of the cow’s stomach. The cow produces three types of tripe depending on the part of the stomach. The rumen produces the flat, blanket or smooth tripe, the reticulum makes the honey comb or pocket tripe, while the omasum makes the book, Bible, or leaf tripe. Despite being a very common dish among the working class , tripe has been reduced to pet food in most parts of Britain. The dish still remains popular in France and Italy.

6. Welsh Rabbit

#6 Welsh Rabbit

Welsh Rabbit is a dish made by pouring melted savory cheese sauce over toasted bread or crackers. The cheese sauce, prepared with other ingredients such as ale, mustard, and spices, is served hot. The name of the dish can be traced from Britain in the 18th century. Its variant name, Welsh Rarebit, was created by folk etymology to upgrade the dish from a poor man’s meal to a supposed delicacy.

5. Boston Cream Pie

#5 Boston Cream Pie

Contrary to its name, Boston Cream Pie is a yellow butter cake that is packed with custard and topped with a chocolate coating. The name is misleading because the dish is a cake and not a pie as shown by its ingredients. This happened at a time when cakes and pies were cooked in the same pans leading to an interchanging use of the term cake and pie. The Parker house hotel in Boston claim to be the creators of the cake in 1856. An Armenian-French chef, M. Sanzian, is credited for the creation.

4. Scotch Woodcock

The Scotch Woodcock is a savory dish of British origin. The name is misleading. Woodcock is a species of wild bird, but it is not present in the dish. Instead, it is made of smooth scrambled eggs served on bread that has been coated with anchovy paste. The dish was common in the eating areas of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom . This was served until the year 1949. The Scotch Woodcock was and is still served in the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.

3. Ladyfingers

#3 Ladyfingers

This is a light sweet sponge cake that are shaped like large fingers. They are also referred to as Savoiardi in Italian and Sponge Fingers in Britain. The cake is too dry to be eaten alone and thus it is often soaked in something. The cake is served as part of many desserts like trifles and charlottes and tiramisu. For tiramisu they are soaked in coffee, liqueur, sugar syrup, or expresso. The origin of Ladyfingers can be traced to Duchy of Savoy in the late 15th century. They were made as a treat for the visiting king of France.

2. Cold Duck

The cold duck is a wine sparkling wine made from concocting burgundy and champagne. The wine was created by Harold Borgman in 1937, a man who owned the Pontchartrain Wine Cellars. The name is a translation of the German reference to the wine Kalte Ente meaning "cold duck". The wine has many different recipes these days, but the original was made up of a part of Rhine wine, a part of Mosel wine, a part of champagne, and seasoning from lemon and balm mint.

1. Alewives

#1 Alewives

Alewives have nothing to do with alcohol. The name actually refers to a type of North American herring fish (Alosa pseudoharengus). The adults are found in the West Atlantic Ocean where they later swim upstream to breed in fresh water bodies. Some Alewives live entirely in fresh waters. Unfortunately the reasons behind for the odd naming of the fish are unknown. The fish is usually steamed or smoked. Due to its declining numbers, the alewife has been identified as a US National Marine Fisheries Service Species of Concern. Its existence has raised concern, but due to the lack of sufficient information prove its risk factors it cannot be included in the Endangered species Act.


Your MLA Citation

Your APA Citation

Your Chicago Citation

Your Harvard Citation

Remember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.

More in Society