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Apr 24, 2014 06:57 AM

When food is wrongly named....

I know, I shouldn't let it bother me. And yet, I am still fretting (mildly) about Sunday. We had lunch at mother in law's retirement home dining room. One entrée option was ham with pineapple soufflé. I chose something else but my son to my right got the ham and the soufflé turned out to be bread pudding with a pineapple flavor, probably crushed pineapple mixed in. It was not bad but...not soufflé.

Any other egregious/funny examples of misnaming?

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  1. Boston Cream Pie!!! CLEARLY NOT a pie. We always wonder if we should allow it at our pie party. No one has ever tried to push this boundary yet.

    5 Replies
    1. re: quirkydeb

      Jumping on that band wagon, cheesecake! It's a (custard) pie, not a cake. Let's start grassroots campaign for Boston Cream Cake and Cheese Pie. ;-)

      1. re: quirkydeb

        The Boston Cream Pie and Cheesecake examples are a different situation than what the OP is addressing. While they are not "pies" and "cakes" as we know them, these names do in fact have a generally recognized meaning as encompassing the specific dish that is commonly served when described by those names -- just like "Rocky Mountain Oysters" are not oysters.

        The OP is addressing a situation in which a restaurant or other food purveyor describes a dish as "X" -- which has a generally recognized meaning -- and then delivers something that is not X. E.g, a pudding that was passed off on the menu as a "soufflé."

        1. re: masha

          Right- makes you wonder if the cook or chef really knows the difference between the two.
          Boston cream pie is what it is, whether the name is categorically correct.
          Bread pudding is definitely not souffle.

          It's like if I served a frittata with pizza toppings (tomato sauce and cheese) and called it pizza (referring to "Hungry Girl").
          You're either really stretching the definition, or you don't know the difference.

          1. re: monavano

            I bet it wasn't the chef who came up with the menu description - probably the facilities event or activities person decided to make the dish sound more festive.

        2. re: quirkydeb

          "Boston Cream Pie!!! CLEARLY NOT a pie. We always wonder if we should allow it at our pie party. No one has ever tried to push this boundary yet."

          Cooks in New England and Pennsylvania Dutch regions were known for their cakes and pies and the dividing line between them was very thin. This cake was probably called a pie because in the mid-nineteenth century, pie tins were more common than cake pans. The first versions might have been baked in pie tins. Boston Cream Pie is a remake of the early American"Pudding-cake pie."

        3. Restaurants always call flavored mayonnaise aioli when 90% of the time it is not...I guess mayonnaise doesn't sound appetizing anymore.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MucousMembrane

            "guess mayonnaise doesn't sound appetizing anymore."
            it sure does to me-love my mayo by any name

          2. My mother often made "pineapple stuffing" to serve with ham. It sounds like the "soufflé" you describe, really a bread pudding not a soufflé or a stuffing/dressing.

            We have a local restaurant that is well known for its Vidalia Onion "Cobbler", which is basically a moist corn bread with sweet onions in the batter. There is no crust on the top. It is delicious, but it is not a cobbler. I also doubt if it is truly Vidalia onions, since they make it all year long and Vidalia's are only available seasonally.

            I was about to mention Cheesecake, but I see somebody beat me to it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Springhaze2

              no matter what it's called I'd sure like that moist cornbread with sweet vidalia onions in batter

            2. Eggplant caviar. Unless the eggplant is really made of eggs.

              1. Is bread pudding a pudding? Or is it a casserole?

                5 Replies
                  1. re: jbsiegel

                    Well if you go back to the origins of pudding, bread pudding is more true to the name than something like chocolate or vanilla pudding which is more like a custard. You could say that is just another bastardization of words that happened in America. Love me some blood pudding.

                      1. re: paulj

                        Oh lordy, I've been craving Yorkshire Pudding for years. I need to just make some. It's one of those things that I don't think of a lot, but if somebody told me I could never have it again, I might go postal.

                      2. re: Bkeats

                        Indeed even in the US, popular association of "pudding" with commercial custard-shortcut products that come ready-made or in mixes is a weird peculiarity of the modern convenience-food market.

                        "Hasty pudding" and "Indian pudding" have much longer North American histories --centuries -- in fact the idea of cooking a grain mush and flavoring it with maple syrup was native, and caught on among European settlers. UK senses of "pudding" have also evolved a bit in the intervening centuries, but US "bread pudding" is far more classic than anything marketed by Jell-O™.