HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


Cullen Skink Anyone? Unappetizing and strange foreign food names!!


This food has just entered my food lexicon recently and I find Cullen Skink so hysterical
and unappetizing that I have to laugh. "Who wants more cullen skink? Now come on, don't be shy!" Don't get me wrong- I am no racist/nationalist here. I speak a number of languages including one which has its equal share of weird sounding things (it's called English) so i just laugh at anything that sounds particularly weird to me.

(This is another new one i just learned, though i don't find it unappetizing, just v unusual- kouign amann



Any weird non-English food names come to mind for you?(esp. the unappetizing ones!?)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The one that came immediately to mind was Spotted Dick, but then that's English …

    23 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      Funny, I just opened this thread to say that I am attending an event for Dickens' 200th birthday and one of the foods being offered is Spotted Dick. The others, like Bubble and Squeak, I've heard of. But I have no idea what to expect from Spotted Dick. I have resisted googling it to maintain the surprise. (Didn't realize the OP wanted non-English names; but really this illustrates how English and American English diverge.)

      1. re: gaffk

        I won't spoil your surprise of one of our best known traditional desserts but bear in mind it is not a light dish, so you may want to take things easy with earlier courses so you're not too full to enjoy it. Hope there's good custard to accompany it.

        1. re: Harters

          At school I remember spotted dick always came with sweet white sauce, not custard.

          1. re: Peg

            Harters probably has crème anglaise in mind. This a pouring custard, not the jello like baked custard that many Americans know.


            1. re: paulj

              I believe Peg is from the UK too. At my school the only difference between custard and a sweet white sauce would have been the amount of yellow food colouring.

              1. re: gembellina

                If the 'custard' is made with Birds, then the 'sweet white sauce' description fits better, since it uses a starch thickener.

                1. re: gembellina

                  We managed to ruin our first Christmas dinner together back in 1972. A sweet white sauce would be a traditional accompaniment to Christmas pudding. Now, OK, nowadays, we'd put lashing of brandy or rum into but, back then we didnt know about cooking. So we bought a packet mix, only realising the disaster when we started to eat. Yep, a white onion sauce.

                  1. re: Harters

                    Onion sauce? wasn't that supposed to go on the Toad in the Hole? :)


                    1. re: paulj

                      White onion sauce traditionally goes with a lamb/mutton roast in the winter, replacing the "fine weather" mint sauce. Onion gravy would go with your Toad.

                    2. re: Harters

                      oh my dear lord -- the hair on the back of my neck stands up just thinking about onion sauce on a plum pudding. *shudder*

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Oh no; I now know it's a plum pudding with a white sauce. Bummer.

                        1. re: gaffk

                          You're ok, it's not a plum pudding - that's the Xmas pudding Harters is talking about!

                          1. re: gembellina

                            plum, Christmas, whatever -- onion sauce on a sweet steamed pudding is gag-worthy.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              I agree! But I think gaffk was worried we'd given the game away about what spotted dick is. It certainly won't be as revolting as that, gaffk!

                              1. re: gembellina

                                Good to hear. If I was anticipating plum pudding with onion sauce, I'd really have to load up on the bubble & squeak so I'd have no room for dessert.

                                1. re: gaffk

                                  Don't worry, gaffk. You'll enjoy it, I hope. A lovely traditional pudding and we'll continue to keep schtum about what it is.

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    Thanks Harters. All will be revealed tomorrow.

                                    1. re: Harters

                                      The custard was delicious, but if I never have that pudding (or was it cake?) again I'll be OK.

                                      1. re: gaffk

                                        Assuming that it was a "proper" Spotted Dick, then it was a steamed pudding, not a baked cake.


                                        1. re: Harters

                                          Perhaps it wasn't proper, as the cream was significatly whiter. The pudding wasn't really like a baked cake, but it had a much different, more crumbly consistency than I would expect from a pudding. Then again, I'm American ;)

                                          1. re: gaffk

                                            ah yes -- there's that "two countries divided by a common language" thing again.

                                            In Britain, "pudding" may or may not have anything at all to do with the stuff Bill Cosby sells -- that's actually called "custard". (I had some homemade custard -- but this was a sauce! -- this summer that had me thinking seriously of drinking it right out of the jug and then licking the plate clean)

                                            Pudding is even sometimes used as a catchall term for dessert.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              A steamed dessert is pretty much always going to be called a pudding.

                                              And, sunshine is right. Dessert may generically be called pudding. They may also be called "sweets" . I believe originally to distinguish them from "savouries" that might otherwise end a meal.It's very rare now to see a restaurant menu offering a savoury amongst its desserts but I'm certain to order one if there is.

                      2. re: gembellina

                        Indeed. We called it 'white custard'.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                I think hummus only sounds unappetizing in the bastardized English pronunciation.

              2. Cullen Skink? First, I'd check the Bill to make sure the Price is Right.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Tripeler

                  ...am I the only one here old enough to get the joke? :-/

                  In any case I guess I'm the odd man out since I tend to gravitate towards strange named foods I've never tried.
                  And I wait until _after_ I've tasted them to inquire about the ingredients (what I don't know won't hurt me). ;-)

                  1. re: The Professor

                    I'm old enough, however, in this case, that means i'm also old enough that I don't find homophone linkage particularly amusing.

                    I can hear in my mind Ricky Gervais delivering this line then explaining it.

                    1. re: The Professor

                      Thanks, Professor. I was beginning to think that nobody got that one.

                    2. As far as Kouign-Amann...that's Breizh, one of the regional languages of the northwest of France...LOTS of things in Breizh sound odd to a foreign ear! (For that matter, things in MOST of the Celtic dialects sound odd to a foreign ear -- Irish, Gaidlig, Welsh, Manx, Cornish, and any others I'm inadvertently omitting -- musical and lovely to listen to, but completely indecipherable without help)

                      It's a lovely pastry when made right, by the way.

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: sunshine842

                        cullen skink is soup with smoked haddock in......

                        1. re: flashria

                          Gaidlig. Which is, I think, what I said.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            Cullen is a village in Scotland. Maybe the name is Gaelic (Gàidhlig), but anyway it's a proper name, and IMO not particularly strange/foreign sounding. "Skink" is a Germanic word, not Celtic.

                            1. re: DeppityDawg

                              according to the Wiki linked above, it's a Scots word " ultimately derived from Middle Dutch", and which "Others have hypothetized that it comes from the Middle High German word". I'm not saying it's not -- but the article would suggest that the Germanic hold on the word is somewhat tenuous.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Both suggested hypotheses go back to a Germanic root. Anyway, trust the OED over Wikipedia (or the NYT Travel section), and notice that no one, in any of these sources, mentions any possibility of a Celtic origin for "skink".

                                1. re: DeppityDawg

                                  But it is currently considered a Scots word, regardless of where it originated.

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    And Scots is a Germanic language... You are aware of that, right?

                                    1. re: DeppityDawg

                                      er....not according to most of the sources I've seen (Wiki is just one)

                                      Including this one: http://cranntara.org.uk/gaelic.htm which suggests that Gaelic is older than German (therefore cannot be descended from it...) More here: http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~cperc...

                                      The Celts were a different people -- they were not Saxon.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        What DeppityDawg is trying to point out is that there were, going back to the Middle Ages, 2 main languages in what is now Scotland - a Germanic English dialect in the SE, and a Celtic language in north.

                                        According to this map, in 1400 Cullen on the NE coast was in the Engish/Scots area, though Scottish Gaelic speakers were not far inland.

                                        And to answer my previous question, there were both commercial and migration ties with Dutch and Flemish parts of the Continent.

                                        What ever the name origins of this soup were, there is a relatively late component - the use of potatoes (early 1800s). The same goes for New England chowders, where potatoes replaced earlier bread/cracker thickeners.

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          the language derivation of "Cullen" is pointless since the soup is named after the place. For a small fishing village (now gentrified and fish-less since the sea in that area has been pretty much fished out), Cullen was once a major fishing port and smoking place for haddock ( finnan haddie). . Skink is another matter, I will rest on wikopedia for the derivation. Given the amount of sea trade between scotland, the low countries and scandinavia, there is no reason why a germanic derived term could not have crept in.

                                          As I said somewhere else on this thread its a great soup though you may laugh.

                                        2. re: sunshine842

                                          We're not talking about Gaelic, but Scots. Two different languages.


                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                      So the word is "derived from Middle Dutch",or "from the Middle High German" and you take from this that "the Germanic hold on the word is somewhat tenuous"?

                                      How many Germanic sources should be proposed before the relationship is no longer tenuous?

                                      1. re: FrankJBN

                                        I was commenting in particular to "others have hypothesized"

                                        And as in my reply to DeppityDawg -- the Celts were NOT Saxon (and a lot of blood was spilled enforcing the fact that they were not!). Different tribes, different language.

                                      2. re: sunshine842

                                        Another Scottish food term that is traced to (old) Dutch is scone (often rhyming with 'gone'). So what was the connection between Scotland and Holland? Trading, or some sort of migration?

                                2. re: sunshine842

                                  yes, sunshine, you put your finger right on it>> Celtic languages = strrrrrange!(we're big trad celtic music fans, so we see and hear the language alot) But now you've given me some hours of googling, as i was not aware of the words gaidlig and manx .

                                  We're in the Boston area, and lucky us, had a super Kouign Amann the other day- our first and not last :-)

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    Despite being indecipherable, at least Gaelic sounds "English" in the sense that the phonetics (vowel qualities, and some other sounds) seem very English--in the sense that it seems to be made up "meaningless" English words. Afterall, these two languages have been in contact for around 1,000 years. I'm sure no one will agree with me, though.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      That sounds so different from what it means. Conversely, I've seen "sweet meats" to mean pastry.

                                    2. "scungilli" has always sounded unappetizing to me

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. Cock-a-Leekie soup. I defy anyone to resist the urge to rearrange the word order.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: MrsBridges

                                          Note the description (and spelling) of the above soup on page 2 of this menu:

                                        2. My beloved cretons is not the loveliest sound.
                                          Tastes awesome though.

                                          1. Crubeens – what they call pig’s feet in Ireland. When our Mom would give us a bath, she would grab our feet and say, “give me those crubeens for a nib”, as she would fake bite them:))

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. Kugel! I love sweet kugels, which are a Jewish noodle or potato pudding, similar to an American or European bread pudding in concept. My boyfriend and I are both Jewish, but he wasn't raised with much Ashkenazi home cooking, and to this day he can't get past the name "kugel" -- says it sounds like "Kegel." I tend to agree it's not a pretty word, but I love my mother's apple kugel. Yum!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: team_cake

                                                "he can't get past the name "kugel" -- says it sounds like "Kegel"

                                                Why yes it does. It also sounds like keagel and kogel and sort of like kigel. This is off-putting because...?

                                                "I tend to agree it's not a pretty word" Well, it's not kreplach for sure.

                                                1. re: FrankJBN

                                                  "This is off-putting because...?"

                                                  Because the thought of Kegel exercises doesn't make his mind go to food. Everyone is allowed their quirks and I don't think this one is so eccentric; I didn't say he was positively phobic about it, but the word "kugel" wasn't his idea of appetizing, either. As the OP mentioned, many foods have odd-sounding names that can be off-putting -- that's part of the point of the thread, isn't it?

                                              2. love cullen skink actually - we made it while staying in Cullen (a lovely little historic town in Banffshire scotland) - but it is a funny name for a really excellent chowder type soup made with finnan haddie

                                                I think Im going to be sorry to have posted on this sure to be hundreds of posts thread, however.

                                                1. Not a foreign word, but "scrod" just sounds nasty.

                                                  1. How about the basic "wurst"? Why would you want to eat something that was the wurst?

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                      just got to give that 'w' a proper German pronunciation.

                                                        1. re: tardigrade

                                                          Vhats the vurst that can happen?

                                                          1. re: tardigrade

                                                            There is a small German-style coffee and beer cafe in Tokyo called "Die Wurst".

                                                            It's pretty good, and I can think of worse ways to die.

                                                          2. re: Bkeats

                                                            Braunsweiger doesn't sound like the name of anything good ... Limburger cheese sounds questionable too.

                                                            1. re: foiegras

                                                              Say that to someone who lives in Braunschweig.

                                                            2. re: Bkeats

                                                              You're pronouncing it wrong, which is why you are equating it with worst.

                                                            3. Pocari Sweat doesn't sound very appetizing, but sure looks like a thirst quencher

                                                                1. re: porker

                                                                  I actually keep a jar of plainly labeled "cock flavoured seasoning" at my desk just so my fellow immature workers and I can get a giggle now and then.

                                                                2. Bubble and Squeak
                                                                  Toad in a Hole.
                                                                  Angels on Horseback.

                                                                  In the lean college years, I did a stovetop version of tuna casserole that we called Sludge. My ex refused to eat it on the name alone.

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    but the OP wanted non-English dishes. Though a couple of those might be foreign for some of us posters.

                                                                    The Irish equivalent to Bubble and Squeak is Calcannon, while the Catalan version is Trinxat.

                                                                    1. re: paulj


                                                                      Bubble and Squeak to me is leftovers.

                                                                      Colcannon (to me) is mashed potatoes with cabbage.


                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                        "Bubble and Squeak to me is leftovers"

                                                                        What, like any kind of leftovers? I've never seen this definition. From what national ethnicity did you hear this usage?

                                                                        1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                          British - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_a...

                                                                          My British friends/colleagues/customers (most of whom don't know one another) have all used it in conversation at one time or another. Usually vegetables, but not necessarily.

                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                            Thanx. The article you link does state in the second sentence "The main ingredients are potato and cabbage,", so it seems likely that it does not mean "leftovers", but rather potatoes and cabbage with leftovers.

                                                                            IOW, if there was leftover stew, it wouldn't be referred to as bubble and squeek.

                                                                            1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                              Bubble & squeak is potato and cabbage - traditionally the leftovers from the Sunday roast meal. If you were wanting to be fully traditional, you'd be turning any leftover roast meat (beef of lamb mainly) into rissoles to have with them. There are few finer Monday night dinner, particularly if you also have leftover gravy to finish the rissoles in.

                                                                              Bubble & squeak appears as part of the full fried English breakfast. But really only in the London area. For the rest of we Britons we'll have none of this heresy with the fry-up.

                                                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                                                      "bangers and mash" - would just sound scary and/or revolting if I didn't know it was often yummy

                                                                    3. "Ants Climbing a Tree"

                                                                      Yum. Tree not included. Nor ants for that matter.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                        Does the Chinese name sound unappetizing, or is it just the translation?

                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                          That's a literal translation from Chinese.

                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                            then there's the favorite snack of kids: Ants on a Log (celery, peanut butter, and raisins)

                                                                        1. re: porker

                                                                          Crappie (the fish)
                                                                          Roomy (a type of middle eastern cheese, possibly a brand name)

                                                                          Horehound slugs (I love the candies, and am well aware of where the name of the herb actually comes from, but even I can see how the name could lead to some very crude jokes from the less mature)

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              Maybe it is what we used to call Colonel Bucket's Chicken Blasphemy?

                                                                                1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                  No, it's from a sketch by the Congress of Wonders from an album in the late 60s. Other chains mentioned in the sketch were Soggy Diner and McBarnyard's Golden Starches. I still have the album somewhere.

                                                                          1. I personally lrather like the sound of "Cullen Skink" (and love the dish, too). But I find "geoduck" a bit humorous - both to look at and to pronounce.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: chefathome

                                                                              Not to mention Turducken ... I think the name might have quite a bit to do with why I've never tried it.

                                                                            2. I don't know if this word is still commonly used in Germany - a lousy cup of coffee / especially a coffee brewed from roasted Chickory root (so called Ersatz Kaffee) is called Muckefuck. (Now say this one three times fast....)

                                                                              edited to add- the u sound is like the vowel sound in boot.

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: RUK

                                                                                Well, that's as disappointing as learning that the resort area of Phuket is pronounced "Poo-ket."

                                                                                We have a friend in Nashville, charming woman and quite open-minded generally, who nevertheless refuses to consider eating at what's arguably the area's best soul-food restaurant simply because it shares its owner's family name: Swett's.

                                                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                  Well, this here IS an English speaking group.....;-)

                                                                                  1. re: RUK

                                                                                    There's a large liquid-transport company in Europe called Fockedey -- which inevitably causes fits of giggles, because it's just fun to say.

                                                                                  2. Cullen skink has no untoward association to me.

                                                                                    Kreplach - that doesn't sound like something good.

                                                                                    Another English/Gaelic one that doesn't sound too good and I was served dishes called this by my parents - slumgullion.

                                                                                    Mmm - slumgullion.

                                                                                    Here's a foreign one many of us might have enjoyed - bare bottom, er I mean nacktarsch. There are many different producers of Kroever Nacktarsch, an inexpensive German Riesling, featuring a bare-bottomed boy on the label, often being spanked.

                                                                                        1. Pinkel (a very greasy sausage from Northern Germany, generally served with cooked-to-death kale), as in "Grünkohl mit Pinkel"

                                                                                          *pinkeln = to pee in German.

                                                                                          21 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                            Having seen the way my Dutch friend served this particular dish...might it also refer to the plumbing involved?

                                                                                            I wish I were kidding -- she brought out the plates, with the sausage and two meatballs, um, thoughtfully arranged....she's a bit of a ditz, but she couldn't figure out why were were sputtering into our napkins. We thought she'd done it deliberately to make us laugh, but no...she was going for a visual balance on the plate!

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                              He he, I can't tell ya. We got it served at my grandma's house up in Bremerhaven, and I believe the sausage was well incorporated into the kale mush. It's a great winter dish, but not very visually appealing. Your Dutch friend might be on to something :-D

                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                I was in Hamburg a few years ago when this dish was in season. It is really delicious! Gotta love that name! :-)

                                                                                                1. re: RUK

                                                                                                  I forgot it generally also includes potatoes. Stick-to-your-ribs stuff.

                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                    High-level comfort food -- the night we had it at my friend's house, it was frosty and the wind was howling -- a perfect night for a meal like that.

                                                                                                    She was pretty surprised that we Americans ate it and enjoyed it...she didn't realize that potatoes and cabbage and pork in some format is a pretty universal winter meal combo!

                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                      You might also know about this beer named for the Austrian town of Fucking, brewed in the Helles style, naturally called Fucking Hell


                                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                        Yep -- it's in the papers occasionally due to anglophone tourists stealing their street signs every year.

                                                                                                        I fucking love Helles, btw.

                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                          well, if you're going to do that, head over to Southwest France and pick up a sign from Condom first....then after Austria, head back to the US to Intercourse and Blue Ball.

                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                            Intercourse's just around the corner, but Blue Ball is probably much further away '-)

                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                              But you're not far from Bird-In-Hand, PA ;) (Oddly, Intercourse and Blue Ball are also in PA.)

                                                                                                            2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                              In Tn. there is a road which connects two small towns called Dismal to Liberty Rd. I always avoided the road when leaving Liberty. I always took that path when leaving Dismal - seemed to make the day a bit more promising!

                                                                                                            3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                              Lovers of road signs (surely there are some of you out there) will want this on ein their collection


                                                                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                  I always take my British visitors to the pub at Wankers Corner here in Oregon, and they always buy glasses, t-shirts etc to take back home.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                    Can I have one, please? T-shirt XXL - thanks.

                                                                                                                    By the by, how does it come to be so named - I'm assuming not in the sense in which I and your Brit visitors would understand it. Or maybe it is :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                      It's named after the family that originated it (there's also a geographic location called Wanker's Corner!). They say it should be pronounced Wonkers, but I think they secretly capitalize on our British understanding. If you Google it I'm sure they have a website so you can order a tee shirt!

                                                                                                                      Sorry if this is off topic.

                                                                                                        2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                          Overall, I think English outdoes German with bad-sounding names: spotted dick, toad in the hole, slumgullion, "veg" (what an ugly shortening), "pud" (yuck), corn mush. Maybe, Pinkel comes close as does Haferschleim.

                                                                                                          1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                            Ooooh! Haferschleim! Great one. Much more fitting than oatmeal, in my opinion :-D

                                                                                                        3. Fart soda!

                                                                                                          (Insert your own carbonation joke here).

                                                                                                          1. Well, this is English, but the name "Toad in a Hole" doesn't call out "eat me".

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: calliope_nh

                                                                                                              would you rather eat stargazy pie?

                                                                                                              'toad in the hole' is so familiar to me that it doesn't phase me any more than does 'hot dog'.

                                                                                                            2. Im really sorry I responded to this thread because it will persist on my list forever - but in for a penny in for a pound

                                                                                                              I really find certain English names for foods most unappetizing - Dirt Balls, and similar. Yuck, yuck Yuck.

                                                                                                              1. p.s. many of us speak many languages. i think that so often a word sounds Yuckola in another language when it sounds like a (non food)word in ou rown language. in this case, the dish cullen skink >>skunk . the cullen part sounds just fine. and from the ingredients, i bet the dish itself is delicious; wonder if i'll ever see it, with its scottish name, on a U.S. menu....

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                  I didn't even think skunk until now! I know skinks as small lizards who would drop their tails in a heartbeat when trying to take them out of the terrarium to sell at one of the pet stores I worked at many, many years ago.

                                                                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                    A skink is a kind of a lizard.

                                                                                                                    What is actually in Cullen Skink?

                                                                                                                    1. re: 512window

                                                                                                                      click on the link in the first post.

                                                                                                                  2. Grew up near Cincinnati, eating goetta (assume that has German heritage). Great eats, but ugly word.

                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                      Wow, I just looked that up b/c I had never heard of it. Wiki claims it's German-American, which makes sense. Looks like a version of scrapple....

                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        pork flavored oatmeal

                                                                                                                        another variation on scrapple is livermush

                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            but you buy your pork from the supermarket, chop, ham, and bacon. These 'adulterated' forms grow out the need to use the whole beast, including liver and scraps.

                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                              Well, I generally get it from a local farmer -- and yes, I don't buy a whole hog and take it apart myself.

                                                                                                                              I would also have no problem eating pork liver without having to mix anything in with it.

                                                                                                                              Thankfully, I have the fortune to be able to choose what I put on my plate every day, and oatmeal isn't -- nor will it ever be -- on said plate, be that with or w/out pork.

                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                these are foods that make the meat go father - haggis and british bangers are other examples of charcuterie filled out with a significant amount of oatmeal or other starchy stuff. Goetta (and good examples of the above items) are actually pretty tasty - its not like they TASTE like or have the texture of the oatmeal.

                                                                                                                                ps Goetta is very local to Cincinnati and Covington KY area I think - definitely german american - we never even saw it as far out of the area as Columbus (where I grew up) and I never heard of it til I met his family, now in the NE.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                  I've had scrapple. Eh.

                                                                                                                                  I *get* why these foods have filler, I just don't like them very much.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                    yes - -they definitely fall on the "making do" end of the spectrum.

                                                                                                                                    How blessed we are that we have a choice....

                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                      I think sometimes these items are very good - and they can be a little bit lighter than all meat charcuterie. Costco even carried some nice irish bangers earlier this year.

                                                                                                                          2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            I never heard of it, must have been a very regional thing.

                                                                                                                            1. re: RUK

                                                                                                                              Well, it sounds like it's a German-American thing, so unless you grew up in the midwest, you likely wouldn't have.

                                                                                                                        1. I personally love 'Kaiserschmarrn' - sounds like a horrifying third reich torture, actually a light crumbly scramble of sweet puffy pancake shreds topped with powdered sugar, sultanas and cinnamon-apple puree. It's Austrian, and apparently the name comes from when the Kaiser's chef got so fed up with trying to find recipes that the Kaiser would actually like that he exasperatedly just threw a bunch of pancakey things together in a heap on a plate and the Kaiser said "What the heck is this Schmarrn??" (Schmarrn being a bit like 'crud' or 'flimflam'). It then became his favourite dessert :P

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Elster

                                                                                                                            wonderful dish - a great memory from Spatenhaus an den Oper in Munich

                                                                                                                          2. Skink is Gaelic and means essence. Cullen Skink is a smoked haddock and potato dish.
                                                                                                                            Does "Clapshot" sound more appitizing? It's potatoes and turnips to be served with haggis.
                                                                                                                            Leave it to the Scots!

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: miriamjo

                                                                                                                              It's not Gaelic, but Scottish English or Scots. See the confused discussion about this above. According to the Scottish Gaelic Wikipedia, the Gaelic name is "Brot Cuillin" (soup of Cullen), although most people will probably just stick in the English name "Cullen skink" when speaking Gaelic.


                                                                                                                              Dwelly gives the following 8 possible ways to say "essence" in Scottish Gaelic: brìgh, bladh, gré, spart, deargan, fìor-gloine, mullach.

                                                                                                                            2. Had to respond to this...

                                                                                                                              When I was growing up, my lovely Welsh grandmother used to lovingly make...wait for it...

                                                                                                                              Faggots and peas.

                                                                                                                              Sounds totally unappetising and tasteless for more than one reason. But I must say that that delightful liver dish was quite delicious. Not something I could share at school when talking about what we ate the previous night, but I always enjoyed it. I now wish I had learned how to make it for my boy, but I think I would rename it to something more appetising and less offensive.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                Of course, only an issue where the word "faggot" might be term of abuse which, generally speaking, it isn't in the UK.

                                                                                                                                It might get even more complicated as the most readily available brand are Brains Faggots - and, no, they're not made from Brains.

                                                                                                                                If you're looking for a more PC name for them, then here in North West England we call them "savoury ducks". And, no, they don't have duck in them. Not even duck brains.

                                                                                                                                And, on strictly personal note (and one which is shamefully honest) in years gone by, I used to suck on around 40 fags a day.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                  Yes, the connotations are different everywhere you go. I think in Australia we tend to pick up both British and American slang.

                                                                                                                                  My nan used to make faggots from scratch, I didn't realise they came ready made...but then Australians aren't really known for their consumption of offal. I do like savoury ducks, if I ever get around to making them I shall use that term.

                                                                                                                                  And good work on giving up the fag habit :) It always makes this nurse happy to hear that.

                                                                                                                              2. Head cheese (American English). Quite happy with the idea of terrine made from bits of head and face, but the name "head cheese" makes me think of ear wax and toe jam. Prefer the (British) English name of "brawn".

                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    To me soused means drunk! The "pickled" connection I suppose.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                      the french name gives it a veneer of glamour in a way that the literal translation just doesn't!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                        You could eat "phoque" in Montreal - maybe not unappetizing, but surely strange sounding ordering phoque off a menu (and it aint pronounced fokai...)
                                                                                                                                        An instance where the French does not add veneer.

                                                                                                                                  2. plenty of weird sounding Yiddish/German words ..
                                                                                                                                    kreplach (mentioned above)

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                      Yeah, kreplach sounds like the stuff that comes up with a very old smoker's cough...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                        Kreplach sounds Klingon to me. And Klingons eat some vile stuff.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                                                          Then theres cling-ons - kreplach sounds like it may also apply here.

                                                                                                                                    2. Not a dish, but a name for a food item.

                                                                                                                                      My ethnicity is Indian, but my family is based in Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and Australia. That being said...

                                                                                                                                      "Susu" in Hindi/Punjabi (Indian) is "urine", in kid-speak. (the equivelent of "pee pee" here)
                                                                                                                                      "Susu" in Malay means "milk".

                                                                                                                                      I got a good laugh out of that growing up. :)

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                                        That is sort of similar to something someone told me with regards to Philippine food. Namey that puto (which is a kind of rice cake, similar to the kind you find in Korean and Shaghaiese cooking) also happens to be a fairly rude word in Spanish (the meaning they gave was somewhere between calling someone a wimp and calling someone the three letter "f-word") what I always found a little funny about this is that, given it's history there are probablly a fairly high number of Spanish speakers in the Phillipines, and yet both terms still stay as they were.

                                                                                                                                      2. Barfi (Indian milk sweet)
                                                                                                                                        Hagel Slag (Dutch chocolate sprinkles)
                                                                                                                                        "Herring under fur coat" (Russian Sel'd' Pod Shuboi / Сельдь под шубой)
                                                                                                                                        Krap (carp, in Albanian)

                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: JP_nyc

                                                                                                                                          I never found it unappetizing (since my parents explained the name to me) but every now and then, my parents would make me Joe Froggers (it's a kind of Gingerbread with a lot of molasses and rum in it) while i loved them, a lot of my friends refused to try them, as they assumed they ACTUALLY had frogs in them (plus a few who thought I was saying some sort of nasty racist remark)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                            Kind of a reverse, but I heard that years ago, when Gerbers baby food came on the scene, someone decided to give it away in third world impoverished countries. Many people refused to eat it; since theres a picture of a baby on the label, they assumed they ACTUALLY had babies in them.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                              I've heard the same thing. Apparantly the basis was that, as a large number of the people in rural Africa are still illeterate, it is common practice there to put pictures of whatever is inside of the cans or jars on the label. so when they saw jars with pictures of babies on them..........

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                Not only illiterate, but also stupid/barbaric enough to believe that people would put babies in jars and sell them as food, right? This is urban legend at its ugliest.


                                                                                                                                                1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                  +1 on the ugliest remark, DD.

                                                                                                                                                  Some urban myths can be funny, but this one has a very unpleasant undercurrent.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                    Hey, Hey Hey, I never said I BELIEVED the story. I probably should have put a line to that effect in the previos post (just forgot) my very sincere apologies.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                      No worries, jm. It's not the folk who read these things who irritate - it's the ones who start them (and their motivation in doing so). The other along the same lines is the myth that folk in developing countries only use a lot of spices to mask the fact that their meat is "off". Never occurs to these fuckwits that we all cook with things that are local to us.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                        Agreed. Though, given that a lot of spices do contain compounds that are anitbacterial (thymol, allicin etc.) or immunostimulant, that one may have a grain (of paradise?) of truth in it's basis. That is, it is not true that spoiled meat would be the sole reason for a cultures embacing of highly spiced food, but if you live in an area where there isn't readily available refrigeration (especially a tropical one, where spoilage is going to be fairly rapid) using a lot of the right spices may be a very sensible approach to extend your meat's shelf life (especially if you consider salt a spice). And if your meat has in fact gone off a little, the right spices could turn the meal into one you have a chance of getting through without getting sick.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                          Salt aside, the spices grown in tropical countries are not generally preservatives, though.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                            Oh, I did not know that. My apologies.

                                                                                                                                        2. I love the description of Star Gazy Pie, a Cornish fish pie in which small whole fish with their heads on are placed on top of the pie with their heads in the center, like the spokes of a wheel, then a top crust with a big round hole cut in it is placed over the fish before the pie is baked. Thus, the fish are star-gazing.

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                            Entries on Wiki under the category of British pies:

                                                                                                                                            Apple pie
                                                                                                                                            Bakewell tart
                                                                                                                                            Banoffee pie
                                                                                                                                            Bedfordshire clanger
                                                                                                                                            Black bun
                                                                                                                                            Custard tart
                                                                                                                                            Lemon meringue pie
                                                                                                                                            Manchester tart
                                                                                                                                            Mince pie
                                                                                                                                            Rhubarb pie
                                                                                                                                            Treacle tart

                                                                                                                                            Bacon and egg pie
                                                                                                                                            Bedfordshire clanger
                                                                                                                                            Butter pie
                                                                                                                                            Chicken and mushroom pie
                                                                                                                                            Corned beef pie
                                                                                                                                            Cornish pasty
                                                                                                                                            Cottage pie
                                                                                                                                            Cumberland pie
                                                                                                                                            Curry pie
                                                                                                                                            Devizes pie
                                                                                                                                            Fish pie
                                                                                                                                            Game pie
                                                                                                                                            Homity pie
                                                                                                                                            Killie pie
                                                                                                                                            Meat and potato pie
                                                                                                                                            Melton Mowbray pork pie
                                                                                                                                            Pork pie
                                                                                                                                            Scotch pie
                                                                                                                                            Shepherd's Pie
                                                                                                                                            Squab pie
                                                                                                                                            Stargazy pie
                                                                                                                                            Steak pie
                                                                                                                                            Steak and kidney pie
                                                                                                                                            Woolton pie

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Querencia


                                                                                                                                              Star gazy pie is associated with Mousehole in Cornwall (Mowzel), and the children's book The Mousehole Cat.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                eating Star gazy pie in Mousehole SOUNDS like a children's book!

                                                                                                                                              1. I looked up a few recipes for Cullen skink. They were all pretty similar, the greatest difference being whether to use onions or leeks. Not a very time consuming soup either. It sounds well worth a try. Then I looked for places to order finnan haddie... My god! Talk about sticker shock! Cullen skink is now on a back burner. Very back burner! Twenty something a pound was the cheapest I could find, plus shipping. For smoked dried fish? Sheesh... I'll make do with a vichyssoise, which is pretty close to Cullen skink, just without the fish.

                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                  A New Zealand delicacy (some think) is muttonbird, the unfledged young of the shearwater, a seabird.
                                                                                                                                                  How about 'muttonbird' for an offputting name?
                                                                                                                                                  Muttonbirds are stuffed with fish by their parents, until they're unlucky enough to be pulled from their burrow, salted and eaten by a few hardy souls.
                                                                                                                                                  They are extremely fat, so they taste like very fishy, very bony duck confit.
                                                                                                                                                  I've only had it once, and I actually enjoyed it, but I'm one of those people that munches on anchovies...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pippimac

                                                                                                                                                    hmmm... Interesting eating habit you have there. I don't find "muttonbird" off-putting at all, but then I love mutton! But I think I'd be a bit bummed if my mutton tasted like fish! I wonder how the plump little devils would taste if they were captured and further fattened on a non-fish diet? I can hear the street vendors now, "Get your farm raised muttonbirds here!" If it catches on, it could wipe out the whole species!

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                    It doesn't need to be Finnan Haddie. Any smoked haddock will do.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: stilldontknow

                                                                                                                                                      Smoked fish, with the exception of salmon, is pretty rare and expensive in most parts of the USA.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                        depends on where you are -- the Midwest and South have it -- you have to look for it, but it's there.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                          It's can be difficult (or/and expensive) to try and replicate dishes from a foreign country.

                                                                                                                                                    2. This will teach me to get to a thread late.

                                                                                                                                                      Everyone has stolen my thunder, and mentioned everything that I had saved up in my mind.

                                                                                                                                                      Oh well, here's my other offering: balut. The name is not quite so bad, but for me, with my Western sensibilities, the real thing is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balut_(egg)


                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                        One of my favorite produce stands has these in front by the checkout counter. One of these days I'll get up the nerve to buy one or two ...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                          Bill, your link is broken (as a fellow sloppy copy & paster I can relate . . . ) Looks like you cut off the last parens and then added it manually. The vagaries on the net. But it got me close enough to find it (unfortunately for me ;)


                                                                                                                                                          Unlike paulj I'll never get up the nerve to buy one, let alone two!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                            once in a while, the board software screws up the formatting...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                              A parenthesis at the end of a line is usually moved to the next line. I've learned to add a space after a line end parenthesis to prevent this.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                              It still works just fine for me. Sorry that your browser, or IP supplier is not showing it.

                                                                                                                                                              Whatever, it is not something that I want. Once, long ago, I witnessed live baby birds being thrown into hot oil, in a sauce pan, and people pushed and shoved for servings. Let's just say that I was not one, and moved on - nothing to see there...

                                                                                                                                                              Sorry about the link,


                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                yeah, my Western-culture self couldn't deal with that one.

                                                                                                                                                                I try to be open-minded, but that's way outside the fence for me.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                  Going way back, my tennis doubles partner was Chinese. His family had many restaurants, and when family members were married, we were guests. We were often seated with his grandmother, who took us both (Westerners) under her wing. She would instruct us, as there were usually 13+ courses, and help us prepare for the next. She would warn us, "You no like next dish." We listened, though DID taste. Her next comment was usually along the lines of "I told you, that you would not like that!" Over the years, we began to become more familiar with the general menus, and began to trust Daryl's grandmother. She also began to understand that we wanted to taste everything, BUT were Westerners, so would not like everything. We grew together, and had great fun, as the brothers and sisters were wed. Along the way, we both learned many "new" tastes, and did expand our horizons, but never full embraced some dishes - that was just us, and his grandmother knew what we were likely to enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                  Now, while there were some "interesting" dishes, there were no balutes.