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Mar 30, 2014 05:57 AM

Misleading Names of Certain Preparations

Some traditional dishes have names that lead those not in the know to try them and reject them because, based on the name, they expected something different. For example, any time there appears a thread about Cincinnati chile, some joker will post that he once tried it and it was terrible since it wasn't at all like chili. Well folks, Cincinnati chili is quite different from Texas (or "normal") chili, but that isn't a valid basis to say there's anything wrong with the one you tried.

Another example is New Orleans BBQ shrimp. There is very little if anything that BBQ shrimp has in common with what most people think of when they think BBQ (although I have stumbled across some ghastly versions where somebody actually dumped "BBQ sauce" on cooked shrimp and claimed it was BBQ shrimp -- blech!)

Are there any other examples you can think of where the name of the preparation connotes something unlike what the dish actually is?

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  1. Rocky Mountain oysters
    Chicken oysters
    Welsh rabbit
    Canadian bacon
    Long Island iced tea

    11 Replies
    1. re: phofiend

      My sister was at lunch with friends and ordered iced tea. The waiter brought Long Island Iced Tea. It's bad enough when you order iced tea and swig a mouthful of (not - ordered) sweet tea, but this was sweet AND boozy. That was a surprise. She never would try a Long Island Iced Tea after that. I think she was traumatized.

      1. re: phofiend

        It's Welsh Rarebit, not rabbit. It is sometimes called rabbit either as a mistake or a joke.

        1. re: Steve

          I think that rabbit has been perpetuated for so long, it's acceptable.

          1. re: Steve

            Not really. The first cited instance of Welsh rabbit is 1725. Rarebit came much later, in 1785, probably a corruption of rabbit. Granted, this is a Wiki article, but it says it better than I can:


            1. re: phofiend

              Ah, I must be thinking of the places i've eaten since 1785.

                1. re: phofiend

                  Jane Grigson's "English Food" lays this question to rest. It was originally rabbit, and rarebit became used later. It was a joke at the expense of the Welsh, because apparently the English didn't think they were good hunters, so a Welsh rabbit would have no rabbit at all. "Scotch Woodcock" is a similar jest from a time, she says, that we weren't so aware of other people's feelings.

                  1. re: jmckee

                    That's pretty much what I always heard, that it's pronounced "rabbit". Haven't had it in years.

              1. re: phofiend

                I've always known headcheese as hog headcheese. But there's nothing cheese-like about it.

                1. re: Nayners

                  Sure there's a similarity. Compare how curds are packed in mold with how the chunks of meat are packed.

                  Most of these names are 'misleading' only to people to take things too literally. Most make sense if you have a bit of imagination or sense of word play.

                1. Spotted dick
                  Toad in the hole

                  1. Some people in Indiana call a Sloppy Joe a 'Barbecue'. It's made in a crock pot, for cryin' out loud. How can it be Barbecue?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kitchengardengal

                      In Central PA pulled beef with BBQ sauce is called beef BBQ.

                      1. re: melpy

                        I think once bbq sauce is added, it's called bbq beef, pork, etc. Although not everyone likes barbecue sauce on their barbecued meat. The other thing people confuse is barbecued meat vs grilled.

                        1. re: melpy

                          This is made with ground beef and a tomato sauce, not actually BBQ sauce. Like Manwich.

                      2. I must be the one you're referring to about that Cincinnati abomination.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: ChiliDude

                          I don't think so. You may not like it, but at least you know what it is. I was talking about folks who order it expecting it to be somewhat like "regular" chili, and are taken aback when they get it and it isn't.

                          1. re: johnb

                            It's an unfortunate name for a very savory, wonderful concoction of slurpy goodness. I've been making the same recipe to the letter for 30 years. My only detour is breaking the spaghetti in half before cooking it. Firm, dark red kidney beans a must.

                            Call it anything but don't you "dare" it chili lol!!

                            Feel sorry for anyone who can't get past the nomenclature.

                            Yum. More for me :o)

                            1. re: nlgardener

                              Oh, nonsense. It's chili. There is no "one" chili.

                              1. re: jmckee

                                It's funny to me, that there's so much attention paid to being cosmopolitan when we're abroad, but we're xenophobes in our own country.