Food Writers Reveal The Food Terms Even They Can’t Spell


The English words we have to describe food rarely makes sense. The names we have for barnyard animals come from Anglo-Saxon terms, but the names for their meat come from French. Chickpeas have nothing to do with chickens or peas. Vegans are not from the star Vega. And into this slurry of languages, customs, and jargon must wade the weary food writers, who sometimes are forced to admit they can’t spell hors d’oeuvres either.

The host of The Splendid Table, cookbook editor, and New York Times alumus Francis Lam, took to Twitter to admit that exact French term had thrown him for years:

Quickly more confessions (and corrections) came:

And then it turned against, as it always does, the French:

And it is true, the fact that 1) we highly esteem French cooking, and 2) the French are loathe to communicate in any language other than their own, means American tongues have had to adapt not just to French seasoning styles, but also trying not to poorly butcher French syllables. Still, we can’t entirely blame the French. English sucks up words from other languages and then acts indignant they don’t fit into their rules, and it’s not the vocabulary’s fault. So, take heart all you misspellers out there, it’s not just you.

We’ll just have to learn these words, someday. Or at least, teach them to autocorrect.

(via Grub Street

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