HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Discussion

Incongruently-named/Silly/Misleading Recipe Names

Have you ever seen a recipe that led you to believe it was something other than it was? Today, I was leafing through a fairly recent edition of a women's magazine, and noticed a recipe for "Spring Fling Salad," which name wants to make me grit my teeth anyway. (Too cutesy.) To my suprise, it called for chopped apples, walnuts, diced pears and a cider-mayo dressing, similar to Waldorf salad, give or take.
To me this salad doesn't speak to Spring at all, mainly because I don't remotely associate those ingredients with that season. Of course they're available all year long, but I'm talking truly seasonal here, the point being, why in the world would somebody think that was a good name for this salad?
Got any others? Silly Recipe titles? Misleads?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Halver Hahn = a Rhineland "dish" that literally translates to half a rooster/chicken.

    It really just is dark bread with thick sliced gouda, onion rings (NOT the fried kind), and paprika.

    7 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Exactly the kind of thing I meant, linguafood! I mean: who thought that up? And why?

      1. re: mamachef

        That's a good question, mama. Lemme wiki/google the roots of that!

      2. re: linguafood

        Since we're going German, how about Leberkäse? It translates to "liver cheese" but contains neither. I'd heard good things about this delicacy, so ordered a Leberkässemmel in a biergarten. Imagine my surprise when I was served a bologna sandwich.

        1. re: alanbarnes

          YOU call it bologna, I call it liver loaf '-)

          Not too crazy about it either. It's just very salty and bland.

          But seriously, I've seen it translated as meat cake. Now, how appealing does that sound?

          1. re: linguafood

            I like meat. I like cake. So what's not to like about "meat cake"? ;-)

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Incidentally, the same beer garden in Berlin translates "Käsespieß" as "cheese spit".

              Mmmmmmmmm cheese spit. Delish.

              1. re: linguafood

                Hey, it has cheese. It's on a spit (okay, a skewer, but close enough). Cheese spit it is!

        1. re: kpaxonite

          it should be "chicken-fried" steak. steak fried like chicken is fried. i don't think that name is misleading -- unless one doesn't know about fried chicken. ;-).

          1. re: alkapal

            In Canada and probably many states no one would know whether it is chicken or steak or a mix of the two

            1. re: kpaxonite

              agree. that name made zero sense to me when i first heard about it. and i know what fried chicken is. chicken fried steak? nuh-uh, m'am. no way.

              1. re: kpaxonite

                because it is supposed to be written "chicken-fried" -- that hyphen means something.

                1. re: alkapal

                  fried with chicken?

                  honestly if you consider the hyphen that is exactly what it means....

                  EX. chicken fried rice

                  1. re: kpaxonite

                    it is not "chicken-fried" rice it is chicken fried rice. your example makes my case. like beef lo mein.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      really? where is the chicken in the chicken fried steak?

                      you seriously missed the point

                      it should be called breaded fried steak or steak vener schnitzel

                      1. re: kpaxonite

                        fried like chicken. get it? "chicken-hyphen-fried." and how in the heck is wiener schnitzel more descriptive of the product it is? weiner schnitzel is not chicken-fried steak, in any event.

                        just curious, kpaxonite, have you even *had* chicken-fried steak?

                        1. re: alkapal

                          No I haven't because it doesn't exist here....my response was to he OP who asked for silly names and it is silly if you haven't grown up with it.

                          1. re: kpaxonite

                            if you know how chicken is fried, then you should be able to guess what chicken fried steak is, with our without the hyphen. a fried steak, chicken style.

                            dumb names are more like "sweetbreads" that are not that sweet and certainly not bread.

                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                              but a lot more marketable than thymus or pancreas.

                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                My first time at a nice restaurant (I was 17 or 18, and on a date), I had no idea what anything on the menu was, so I ordered sweetbreads, because I like sweet things and bread. Very tasty, still no idea what they were. It was only when I got home, and my dad started chuckling when he asked what I ate... =)

                                1. re: kathleen221

                                  'Sweetbreads' goes back to the 16th c. The origin is not entirely clear, but the 'sweet' may refer to a richness (in contrast to muscle meat), and 'bread' derive from an OE word for meat or roast.

                                  In any case it is not a euphemism, and not a composite of two modern words. Maybe it's the modern speaker who is dumb, not the word. :)

                            2. re: alkapal

                              Sorry, "Chicken-fried" steak still does not make logical sense to me as it still requires familiarity and background knowledge. The descriptor "chicken-fried", on the face of it, does not mean "fried like you would fry a piece of chicken" to me.

                              1. re: huiray

                                It doesn't need to be logical. It's food. That's what it's called.

                                Do most people know that corned beef gets its name from the "corns" (large-grained salt) with which it is cured? I doubt it. Yet we don't hear any hue and cry about corned beef not being a carnivore's version of succotash.

                                1. re: huiray

                                  do you still say sunrise and sunset?

                                  1. re: thew

                                    i take that to mean that you personally prefer to use the highly popular 'earthrise' and 'earthset' instead?

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      actually i prefer horizon-rise and horizon-set. poetically more satisfying to my ear

                              2. re: kpaxonite

                                As my southern relatives and friends would say, "Y'all ain't from 'round here, are you?" there's nothing wrong with the name Chicken-Fried Steak. It is an accepted menu item in a LOT of places.

                            3. re: kpaxonite

                              no one is chickenfried steak and the other is chicken friedrice

                            4. re: alkapal

                              A lot of problems are caused by the absence or misuse of punctuation.
                              To wit: Let's eat, Grandma! vs Let's eat Grandma!

                          2. re: alkapal

                            i'm usually a pretty smart cookie, but the first time i saw it on a menu when i moved to ATL i wasn't sure if it was chicken or steak.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Same here - it took me years before I learned it was actually steak - though I'm not a very smart cookie.

                          3. re: kpaxonite

                            Agree on the chicken fried steak.

                            It wasn't until I was well into my 30s that I learned chicken fried steak did not contain any chicken products.

                            1. re: cleobeach

                              Well, I've been eating chicken fried steak since I got my first toof so that never confused me at all, but my contribution to this thread is "Chicken-Fried Chicken".

                              It's a boneless chicken breast that's been pounded flat, battered and fried like...

                              ...chicken fried steak!

                              1. re: DoobieWah

                                I was wondering when someone would come up with that!

                                1. re: rockycat

                                  isnt this essentially wener shnitzel with the veal replaced with chicken cutlets?

                                2. re: DoobieWah

                                  I think you mean "chicken-fried-steak-fried chicken".

                              2. re: kpaxonite

                                This series of posts prompted me to make chicken-fried steak tonight. I haven't made it in quite a while and between the gravy, mashed potatoes, double breading, and shallow frying, I forgot what a mess it makes. So of course everything got eaten and it's now the kid's favorite way to eat beef. Thanks, CH!

                                Btw purists, I made a brown gravy rather than cream gravy because (cover your eyes) I just can't stand white gravy.

                                1. spotted dick!

                                  coffee cake and tea cakes do not contain either coffee nor tea

                                  Welsh Rarebit - it's ultimately cheese on toast

                                  hot dogs (where did the dog part come from?)

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: smartie

                                    I've seen this as Welsh Rabbit, which is even more confusing.

                                    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                      It is indeed Welsh Rabbit. It's a bit of a long in-joke, and the "rare bit" spelling is a variant created to "correct" the joke.

                                      1. re: jmckee

                                        that is funny, jmckee -- a "refined" form to correct the original "joke" or sardonic name. i wonder if there is any other food like this -- that got a new pedigree, so to speak.

                                        ~~~~~~~~
                                        so what is the basis for the joke? that the welsh don't even have rabbits to eat?

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          It's in either Elizabeth David or Jane Grigson -- I forgot to look it up last night. It's the same as "Scotch Woodcock" -- dishes named after game that have no game in them. implying that the people in question are not good hunters. So for the Welsh a rabbit would be a "rare bit" -- something they don't catch very often.

                                          1. re: jmckee

                                            Sounds like Grigson, too downmarket for ED. ;-)
                                            I remember hearing that from the time I first knew about rarebit, when I was growing up in Canada.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              I'm pretty sure now it's Grigson; ED's books on my shelf are all Italian, French, and Mediterranean in nature.

                                              1. re: jmckee

                                                Possibly in British Cookery or Good Things - I adore Jane Grigson.

                                    1. re: kpaxonite

                                      it's toad in THE hole! don't ask me why.

                                      There is also bubble and squeak.

                                      English Muffins the name makes me giggle - we never had them in England until they were imported from the USA!

                                      1. re: smartie

                                        smartie, perhaps you or some other Briton can explain what is/was meant by "muffins" in England, when not in reference to American-style quick breads. There are references to muffins seved at teatime in Jane Austen's novels, published in the second decade of the 19th century, and I've always been curious about what this referred to.

                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                          hmm it's a good question, maybe something that fell out of favour because although we knew the nursery rhyme about the muffin man we never ate them (I was born in the 50s). I discovered English muffins in the US in the 70s but didn't know what they were going to taste like having never had them in the UK.

                                          Hopefully a more knowledgeable Brit will know, or maybe they were a Northern thing that we Southerners (UK Southerners) didn't have. There was much more of a North South divide in the UK until recently in terms of foods.

                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                            Im a Canadian and a Brit.... by quick bread do you mean what Brits would call pudding (ex Yorkshire)? Or american 'biscuits' and muffins would be similar to scones which are often flavoured with berries and whatnot and might even be called a muffin in the UK...

                                            1. re: kpaxonite

                                              Quick breads are any non-yeasted breads/small cakes, so Yorkshire puddings (and popovers, which are similar) qualify, as do scones and the American types of biscuit, but in this case I was referring to what North Americans usually call muffins without a qualifier, baked in a muffin/cupcake tin - such as blueberry or bran muffins, to mention two popular flavors.

                                            2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                              Not sure about the origins for Toad in the Hole but Bubble & Squeak is a dish made mainly of leftover cabbage and potatoes that's fried in a bit of oil or butter but so called because of the noises made during said cooking process!

                                              English Muffins are nothing to do with the American muffins at all as they are a cake; an English Muffin is a bread that is split, toasted and served with butter and in general jam. A very traditional Sunday evening treat like crumpets when I was little :)

                                              American biscuits are like a plain scone (which in the UK often have fruit in them and apart from the few cheese ones tend to be served sweet) so are much more cake like and neither are like a muffin at all :)

                                              Hope this helps.

                                            3. re: smartie

                                              I had always kind of thought that 'bubble & squeak' was Cockney rhyming slang for something involving leeks. But a quick look at a dozen or so recipes on line show none involving leeks at all. So much for that theory. Maybe it involves the sounds it makes while cooking.

                                              1. re: Fydeaux

                                                a bubble and squeak is a Greek in cockney rhyming slang. It gets shortened to bubble as in ' Only a bubble would drink that retsina'.

                                                1. re: smartie

                                                  I always assumed "bubble and squeak" referred to the consequences once it reaches the end of the GI tract.