These Are the Most Misunderstood Terms on Menus
Chances are, you've been stumped by at least one.
Have you ever been to a restaurant, glanced over the menu and thought to yourself, “This chef is just messing with us, right?” You’re not alone. According to a recent online survey conducted by Harris Poll, 29 percent of diners thought some restaurant menus were needlessly confusing. Interestingly, however, 18 percent of those surveyed said they had still ordered a dish featuring an unfamiliar ingredient or term regardless. It’s a reminder of just how cavalier we can be with our food ordering: Hopefully 18 percent of people wouldn’t get on a plane if they were unfamiliar with the destination.
Looking to help address this ongoing issue, OpenTable, the online reservation site that commissioned the poll, decided to do diners a favor and not only published a list of the 25 most misunderstood dining terms, but to create a handy glossary of all the definitions as well.
Topping the list: okonomiyaki – a term 69 percent of diners said they didn’t understand. I’m guessing a big chunk of the remaining 31 percent pulled out a Trump-esque answer like “Okonomiyaki? It’s amazing. I’m a huge fan. Huuuuge.” For the record, it’s a Japanese savory pancake. But you knew that.
Here’s the rest of the top ten, how many people had no clue about them and a quick primer on what they are:
1. Okonomiyaki (o-konomi-yaki) -69% - Savory Japanese pancake
2. Gochujang (go-choo-jang) -67% - A spicy, and at times stinky, Korean condiment
3. Piri piri (pir-ree-pir-ree) -64% - An African bird’s eye chili common in Portuguese and South African dishes
4. Yuzu (yoo-zoo) -64% - A sour yellow citrus common in Japanese and Korean dishes
5. Bibimbap (bi-bim-bop) -64% - A Korean dish of rice topped with a variety of things like sautéed vegetables, beef and eggs.
6. Gougere (ɡo͞oˈZHer) -63% - A puffed cheese pastry.
7. Guanciale (gwan-cha-lay) -62% - Cured pig cheeks
8. Shiso (SHēsō) -62% - A member of the mint family found throughout East Asia
9. En brodo (en BROH/doh) -61% - Broth, sometimes served on its own.
10. Ballotine (bal- -teen) -61% - A boned piece of thigh meat that is tied and stuffed.
After that list, even I’m starting to feel like we should just go to Wendy’s.
This article originally appeared on Food&Wine.com.