Freshly made gnocchi with green basil pesto sauce

You think you know, but you may not know exactly. Are you saying it wrong? Here are 10 of the most mispronounced foods, at least according to Google searches. Take a look at these fairly common food names and see if you slayed or nayed.

You’ll find most of these foods are not of American origin, which is why are they a little more challenging. I mean do you know ANYONE who can pronounce the Italian pasta made of potatoes correctly? Is it Naww-kee or No-kee? We know how to spell it, gnocchi. But most of us get it wrong when trying to flex our foreign language skills.

If I’m not sure of exactly how to say something, I usually say it very quickly. And maybe a little under my breath. Probably the best thing to do when you don’t know is to outright admit it. “Is is Nock-kee? I never sure.”

Popular Mispronounced Foods

Pronouncing food names correctly is about as difficult as out-of-towners attempting our Massachusetts town names. It’s just a matter of familiarity. Gyro is not a word we use everyday, so practice and seeing a pronunciation in print helps. Here, you’ll get a pronunciation guide to aid in impressing your friends and family.

If you’ve ever Googled “acai,” you are not alone. In fact, that is one of the 10 most mispronounced foods. I found an article of this titillating subject through Quizgecko, an AI online question generator. The researchers survey Google data for to discover which particular food name people have the most trouble with.

The list below will reveal the results of the research from some of our favorite foods. The searches generally were for terms like “how to say acai.”  Or “how to pronounce gnocchi.” The researchers then analyzed the number of searches for each food combined with the search terms.

We can all learn from this list, no doubt. I didn’t realize I was saying gyro wrong all these years! If nothing else, it’s certainly entertaining, and you can quiz your friends on mispronounced foods at the next dinner party.


  • 1. Croissant

    • Number of Searches: 589,670
    • Pronunciation: kwah-sahn

    No r, no t. Like the French do. This lovely, flaky French puff pastry is something most of us have enjoyed at some time in our lives. They are everywhere, from your favorite coffee shop to the grocery store bakery and beyond.

    2 French croissants. Croissant is one of the most mispronounced foods

    Getty Images

  • 2. Worcestershire

    • Number of Searches: 222,890
    • Pronunciation: wuh-ster-sheer

    Like the English, we New Englanders prefer to leave out letters in our speech, even syllables. Leave out the “ester” and make the shire a “sheer” and you are good to go. Who doesn’t like a bunch of Worcestershire sauce in their bloody Mary mix?


  • 3. Gyro

    • Number of Searches; 170,240
    • Pronunciation: yee-roh

    Leave your G at home when ordering these delicious Greek sandwiches. Gyros are made with meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. It’s sliced and served wrapped or stuffed in pita bread. Some other ingredients in a gyro include, tomato, tzatziki, onion and even fried potatoes. In Greece, gyros are usually made of pork or lamb. But here, you’ll also find it’s often made with chicken or beef. Delicious!

    2 Greek Gyros wrapped in pita bread

    Getty Images



  • 4. Pho

    • Number of Searches: 90,440
    • Pronunciation: fuh

    Have you been saying “Foh” like I’ve been saying it? We are wrong. But you can’t go wrong with many fabulous Pho restaurants in the area. Pho is a popular Vietnamese soup made of bone broth, rice noodles, and thinly sliced meat (usually beef). It is sometimes served with bean sprouts, fresh herbs, limes, chiles, and other garnishes.

    Thank you Boston for voting us #1!

    Posted by Pho Pasteur Restaurant on Thursday, May 5, 2022


  • 5. Charcuterie

    • Number of Searches: 79,140
    • Pronunciation: shahr-koo-tuh-ree

    This fancy word for a board of tray filled with bite size yummies has been all the rage since the pandemic hit us in 2020 and everyone was making food from Tik-Tok. And frankly, most of us have been saying it wrong. Now, we can get it right. Who doesn’t love a plate full of salami, prosciutto, cheeses, meats, fruits, olives, crackers and whatever? In French, Charcuterie literally translates to “pork-butcher’s shop.” But the world has now taken it to a whole new level, and I’m good with that!

    Charcuterie board topped with meats, cheeses, fruit and nuts

    Getty Images

  • 6. Gnocchi

    • Number of Searches: 73,080
    • Pronunciation: nyawk-kee

    Even if you’ve said it correctly before, you’ll say it wrong again. It’s just one of those words that has too many opportunities to get it wrong. Plus, it isn’t a early word to tackle with lots of weird sounds coming out of your mouth. The point is, it’s a favorite Italian dish and so delish! Gnocchi is made a pasta made from potatoes. According to Pasta Evangelists, “While gnocchi are a traditional Italian pasta shape, what makes them distinct is that they use potatoes as the main ingredient. Therefore, they’re commonly considered to be a dumpling. Like many dishes in Italian cuisine, gnocchi vary in both name, appearance, and recipe.” Mange!

  • 7. Quinoa

    • Number of Searches: 69,210
    • Pronunciation: keen-wah 

    This ancient South American grain gets a bad rap. It’s really tasty when prepared right. But it’s not “quin-oh-ah.” For those who don’t have it in their diet on a regular, you wouldn’t have a clue as to how to say it correctly. Quinoa is a whole grain that’s packed with all kinds of nutrients; fiber, protein, and plant compounds. It’s great served with chicken and a veggie, or on top of a salad. Forks up!

    A bowl of quinoa

    Getty Images



  • 8. Acai

    • Number of Searches:59,930
    • Pronunciation: ah-sigh-ee

    Honestly, I’m surprised this super-popular dish (especially with teens) isn’t higher on the list. Acai bowls are served at many high schools now. And there are take-out restaurants everywhere who only serve a variety of acia bowls. But when you order don’t say “ah-kigh.” According to WebMD, acai is actually a berry. It’s an “inch-long, reddish-purple berry that comes from a South American palm tree.” Acai bowls are smoothie bowls made with the trendy superfruit. Acai bowls look like ice cream, almost taste like ice cream, and make you feel good about your breakfast choice. It’s what breakfast dreams are made of. It’s bascially a really thick smoothie, topped with things like peanut butter, oatmeal and fruit. Easy, healthy breakfast or pick me up after a long day.

  • 9. Gruyère

    • Number of Searches:38,760
    • Pronunciation: groo-yair 

    Learn it, because it’s such a tasty cheese to put in your grilled cheese and is a must for French onion soup lovers like me. If you order a French onion soup and they tell it’s made with mozzarella , send it back. Gruyere is a must. The end.

  • 10. Caprese

    • Number of Searches: 28,300
    • Pronunciation: cah-prey-zay

    Wait, you mean it’s not “cah-preez-ee?” I’ve been saying it wrong my whole life. And I often order caprese salad at a restaurant. It’s one of my favorites! I’ll get it right next time. Caprese is a very simple salad. It’s made with it’s a simple Italian salad. It’s made with fresh mozzarella, sliced red ripe tomatoes, a handful of basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling. Better yet drizzle with balsamic. It’s also fun to use as a topping on grilled meat.


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