Anyone can add to this, or correct it. If I’ve got something wrong, or particularly if you have beautiful words/dishes of your own, do contact me and I’ll add them. Thanks!


Or ‘What’s Wot?’

On the Food Channel, they started talking about these things called Flaounes (pronounced Fla-oo-nes) and that got me thinking of all the obscure foodie terms, ingredients mainly, but also dishes and techniques, that I’d come across.  Things I’d read in restaurants, in magazines, or seen on telly.  I haven’t scoured the world and its menus for these words, they’re all, as I say, things that I’ve come across, mostly from watching more food programmes, that I then looked up.  They’re all one-word terms (OK, occasionally two) that are interesting words, and that are the names of particular items and not simply their translations from other languages.  Therefore Lagman po Uyegursky (Uzbekistan lamb and noodle soup), whilst sounding spectacular, is not on the list – it’s too long, and is just Uzbekistani for lamb and noodles; it’s a translation, not the name of a one-off dish. . However, if they’re beautiful or interesting, I’ve included plenty of indigenous words for local food items.  Just in case I ever see them on a menu and want to know.  But by and large, what I’m after is a set of ingredients called by a single term; an example in this country might be hotpot.  Or casserole, which is probably French anyway.

Having had the idea, I admit I did delve into the Net a little, but was brought up short by an Armenian menu, 99% of which consisted of words I’d never heard of (the 1% was the word ‘menu’). This showed me that my little list was just scraping the surface of, literally, a whole world of culinary terms.  Therefore, my list is casual and trivial, and should be treated so.  Mind you, a book I came across called ‘The People’s Cookbook’, which comprised of recipes for the common people the world over, contributed enormously.

Nowadays we’re so much more with-it about food that I’ve left out things like, for example, Gazpacho, Tagine, Tzatziki, or Fajitas, as they’re quite well known, and gone for things with equally exotic names, but that are perhaps newer to people. They were to me. You’ll probably find you know quite a few, especially towards the beginning. A lot of these recipes sound delightfully attractive, Nos 116, 126, 203 and 216, I’m looking at you. There are some fascinating ones (113, 147, 177, 193, 229). But some are downright stomach-turning (81, 108, 114, 210). I don’t know if this is an item about food or words.

  1. Flaounes.                               Cypriot cheese + mint tarts.
  2. Mastic.                        A kind of gum – the grains are used in the dough for 1.
  3. Mahleb.                                 Dried cherry-stone grains, also in 1.
  4. Ceviche.                                  Fish marinated / cooked in lime juice.
  5. Escabeche.                                    It means marinated in vinegar, usually fried fish.
  6. Lomi-Lomi.                                   Polynesian ceviche with coconut milk.
  7. Porkolt.                                Hungarian meat stew.
  8. Feijoada.                                   Brazilian National Dish, a pork + black beans casserole.
  9. Bacalau.                               Portuguese National Dish, salt cod.
  10. Bredie.                                South African mutton stew
  11. Panzanella.                               Tuscan tomato and bread salad,
  12. Spiedini.                               Skewers, Greek / Italian.
  13. Pozole.                                Mexican pork + hominy stew.
  14. Ajuar.                                East European spicy relish.
  15. Skordalia.                           Garlic mashed potato + ground almonds.
  16. Colcannon.                               Irish mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale.
  17. Champ.                                 Irish mashed potatoes with spring onions.
  18. Laksa.                              Malaysian soup.
  19. Fattoush.                                Levantine/Middle Eastern salad. Similar to Panzanella, above, in that it contains bread.
  20. Zarzuela.                                   Catalan fish stew.
  21. Picada.                                Garlic + almond paste, also Catalan.
  22. Tabbouleh.                                 Middle Eastern salad, lots of bulgar wheat and fresh parsley.
  23. Adobo.                               National Dish of the Philippines, meat + bay + vinegar + soy + garlic + black peppercorns.
  24. Sumak.                                 Middle Eastern spice: dried parsley root + lemon.
  25. Pinak Bet.                                Filipino stew, veg + shrimp paste.
  26. Kottbullar.                                 Swedish meatballs.
  27. Rendang.                                Malaysian curry for breakfast.
  28. Kimchi.                             Korean National Dish, spicy pickled veg, esp. cabbage + garlic.
  29. Quark.                              German cheese.
  30. Stufatu.                                  Corsican beef + macaroni stew.
  31. Gribiche.                                    French sauce, tartare + anchovies.
  32. Baba Ganoush.                                Middle Eastern aubergine puree.
  33. Dukka.                                     Iranian spice mix.
  34. Panch Puran.                           Indian spice mix.
  35. Horiatiki.                                Greek salad with oregano, capers + anchovy.
  36. Achoo.                             (bless you)     African meat + fish soup.
  37. Mojito.                              Cuban cocktail.
  38. Seeni Sambal.                         Sri Lankan dried fish.
  39. Favetta.                              Broad bean + thyme puree.
  40. Pico de Gallo.                       ‘Birds’ beaks’, Mexican salad.
  41. Amchoor.                          East Indian ground green mango powder.
  42. Kalonji.                             Black onion seeds.
  43. Passata.                           Italian finely-sieved tomato sauce.
  44. Cassata.                           Italian ice-cream.
  45. Cassava.                           Plantain.     
  46. Mezes.                              Turkish appetizers.
  47. Zakuski.                             Russian appetizers.
  48. Shoarma.                           Egyptian kebab.
  49. Fugu.                            Japanese fish delicacy. This is the one that kills you if the chef slices it wrong.
  50. Rijstafel.                             Dutch / Indonesian banquet.
  51. Chimichanga.                           Mexican deep-fried burrito.
  52. Calamasi.                         Sour Indian gourd.
  53. Longaniza.                           Sweet Filipino sausage.
  54. Louganika.                           Greek sausage.
  55. Halva.                            Turkish sweet.
  56. Baklava.                             Greek pastry.
  57. Ikan Bilis.                            Malaysian dried anchovies. Often served as a bar snack, or on the side of Rendang (27)
  58. Tonnato.                          Italian tuna sauce, served cold with veal fillet (Vitello).
  59. Gremolata.                              Garnish of parsley, lemon + garlic.
  60. Cous cous.                             North African grains staple.
  61. Cou cou.                               Caribbean stew of cornmeal + okra.  
  62. Blachan.                               South East Asian dried fish
  63. Balachung.                                  Indian dried fish paste / pickle.
  64. Gumbo.                                Creole thick soup base.
  65. Labneh.                            Arabic cream cheese.
  66. Chlodnik.                           East European Gazpacho – beetroot, radish, cucumber, dill etc.
  67. Tkemali.                                Georgian sour plum sauce.
  68. Cozido.                            Brazilian pork, sausage, sweet potato + vegetable stew.
  69. Yufka.                            Turkish pancakes.
  70. Taguella.                          Saharan millet pancakes.
  71. Proja.                              Serbian maize bread.
  72. Sally Lunn.                               Colonial American bread.
  73. Droo.                            Tunisian buckwheat bread.
  74. Tsampa.                          Tibetan barley-and-tea porridge, served with rancid yak’s butter.
  75. Asink.                            Tuareg – a Saharan tribe- porridge.
  76. Kasha.                               East European groats – like rice – served with Borscht.
  77. Reshta.                            North African noodles.
  78. Mamaliga.                                Soft Romanian cornmeal bread, like rice porridge.
  79. Humitas / Choclotanda.                                 Latin American stuffed sweetcorn husks.
  80. Kitchiri.                            Afghan rice and sweetcorn porridge.
  81. Dresi.                             Tibetan sweet rice stored in yak bellies, very strong and often has yak hairs in it.
  82. Shchi.                              North Russian cabbage soup.
  83. Okrochka.                              Russian beer and vegetable soup.
  84. Bussega.                                Lombardy tripe stew.
  85. Chupe.                                 Peruvian soup with shrimp and goat’s cheese.
  86. Mayeritsa.                                Greek Easter soup.
  87. Wot.                                    (I am not making these up.)           Ethiopian bean stew.
  88. Ta’amia.                           Arabian bean croquettes.
  89. Succotash.                             American colonists corn-and-bean stew, from Indian m’sick-quotash.
  90. Hutspot.                                   Dutch vegetable stew.
  91. Nahit.                              Israeli roasted chickpeas.
  92. Poe.                            Polynesian fruit balls.
  93. Paski.                             Serbian fried goat’s cheese. 
  94. M’guena.                            African omelette.
  95. Tchakchuka.                           North African eggs and vegetables, like tortilla.
  96. Kari.                             Reunion Island yams and pork chops.
  97. Retfo.                             Ethiopian beef and sweet pepper.
  98. Kaku.                          West Indian breadfruit mash.
  99. Scrapple.                          Dutch Pennsylvanian breakfast meat loaf, served with maple syrup and pancakes.
  100. Sarikuaja.                              Malaysian custard with rose water.
  101. Mazamorra.                            Uruguayan maize pudding.
  102. Jito.                          Serbian wheat pudding.
  103. Bunuelos.                      Mexican sweet fritters.
  104. Filhos.                           Portuguese pumpkin fritters.
  105. Jallabis.                            Indian pistachio fritters, very sweet, stringy circles.
  106. Hamantashen.                    Jewish prune biscuits.
  107. Molinetes.                        Chilean chocolate roll.
  108. Chicha.                               Mexican maize beer.  The corn is chewed, spat into bowls, fermented for 15 days, then bottled with mint leaves.
  109. Injera.                           Ethiopian pancakes.     (served with Wot – see No. 87)
  110. Pulque.                       Mexican cactus beer.      (There’s actually a YouTube video, 16 seconds, just this particular word repeated. Which begs the question ‘Por que pulque?’ And if you asked that of a fat person…)
  111. Baiga.                           North Chinese winey drink, made from millet and pigeon droppings.
  112. Chang.                          Kashmiri barley beer.
  113. Tuba.                           Philippines coconut palm-flower wine. 
  114. Niglo.                              Gypsy hedgehog baked in clay.
  115. Tjitjiales.                            Malaysian grilled lizard eggs.
  116. Pashka.                             Russian goat’s cheese and glacé cherries dessert, served in basil leaves.
  117. Keneffa.                               Moroccan filo layers with smooth almond sauce.
  118. Mechoui.                             Moroccan minty salsa / marinade.
  119. Chermoula.                           Similar to Mechoiu, parsley/coriander instead of mint, spicier, served with fish.
  120. Liquamen.                             Roman salty fish sauce made from fermenting rotted anchovies.  They put it in everything.
  121. Dashi.                           Japanese stock made from tuna flakes and kelp.
  122. Tameletjies.                          South African ginger-coated pine nut snacks.
  123. Braai.                        South African BBQ.
  124. Ajwain.                       South Asian spice, tastes of thyme, black pepper and oregano.
  125. Bobotie.                         Cape Malay fruity moussaka – minced beef, apple, bread, curry powder, raisins…
  126. Fesenjan.                          Persian duck with pomegranate and ground walnuts.
  127. Briouats.                        Moroccan pastries filled with pureed brain.
  128. Mensaf.                            Jordanese whole sheep served on bed of rice which is soaked in fat from the cooking.  Vegans only.
  129. Jollof.                         West African spicy rice and meat.
  130. Ugali.                            Kenyan maize staple.
  131. Bredes.                           Seychelles variety of spinach.
  132. Bondas.                           Potato balls, India / Sri Lanka.
  133. Jaggery.                            Palm sugar, India.
  134. Pawa.                     Flat rice, Indian snack.
  135. Khadi.                         Indian yoghurt soup.
  136. Mallung.                            ‘Mixed up’.  Sri Lankan curry, usually with green veg.
  137. Chapulines.                             Mexican fried grasshoppers.
  138. Mooli.                          Chinese white radish.
  139. Tempeh.                          Brown soya bean block, tastes nutty, multi-nation
  140. Kheer.                         Indian dessert made from rice + milk.
  141. Fresine.                      Calabrian herby bread.
  142. Schiacciata.                    Italian bread made with mushrooms, parmesan + truffle oil.
  143. Harira.                      Moroccan soup.
  144. Chorba.                    Another Moroccan soup.
  145. Verjuice.                           Flavour-enhancing cooking liquid made from crab apples, unripe grapes etc.
  146. Bebinca.                        Goan coconut pancake Christmas cakes.
  147. Puchero.                         Argentinian spicy stew.
  148. Skirlie.                           Toasted oatmeal, Scotland.
  149. Tinga.                           Mexican casserole.
  150. Bullinada.                        Catalan fish stew with potatoes and saffron.
  151. Cargolado.                          Catalan grilled snails.
  152. Boshintan.                             Dog soup, Korea.  Oh yes.
  153. Zaalouk.                             Moroccan aubergine dip.
  154. Criffel.                              Scottish semi-soft cheese.
  155. Champurrada.                            Mexican hot chocolate with ground corn.
  156. Quindim.                         Brazilian dessert with egg yolk ice-cream.
  157. Bigos.                           Hunter’s Stew, from Poland.  Pork or beef, bacon, Polish sausage, dried herbs, sauerkraut and cabbage, caraway, mushrooms…
  158. Lohikeitto.                                 Finnish salmon soup
  159. Lefse.                          Norwegian potato fritters / crisps
  160. Pinzimonia.                            Italian dip, just olive oil + S+P.
  161. Guvec.                             Turkish stew.
  162. Barm brack.                            Northern Irish fruit bread.
  163. Cianfotta.                               Italian vegetable stew, ratatouille-ish with potato and chilli.
  164. Mamoul.                              Lebanese date cookies.
  165. Za’atar.                             Arabian herb blend, oregano/savory/thyme/hyssop, any or all of these with sumac (24) and sesame.
  166. Cevapcici.                             Sarajevan speciality, though it’s just grilled sausages and soft cheese with pitta bread.
  167. Rakia.                           Sarajevan local liqueur.
  168. Spetsofai.                           Greek sausages with peppers and aubergine.
  169. Kantaifi.                              Greek filo parcels with cinnamon and walnuts.
  170. Savoro.                           Regional Greek fish with raisins and herbs.
  171. Aliada.                          Greek fish with garlic.
  172. Ladopita.                          Greek sweet pie with almonds and olive oil.
  173. Xinochondros.                           Regional Greek pasta made with sour milk.  Chondros? Could be a wind-up.
  174. Moin moin.                             Nigerian steamed pudding made with black-eyed beans, onions and black pepper.
  175. Sancochos.                           Caribbean stew of several meats – chicken, goat, pork, beef – and vegetables
  176. Lawar.                         Balinese green beans salad with coconut, dressed with pig’s blood.
  177. Henry.                        Just a whopping great cut of meat, from the leg I think, pork, lamb.
  178. Betty.                          American pudding of spiced fruit and sweet breadcrumbs, a crustless pie.
  179. Charlotte.                          Also a pudding, also fruit, but inside baked sliced bread or sponge biscuits.
  180. Gröstl.                          Austrian hash, like Pytt i Panna with caraway and sweet paprika.
  181. Pytt I Panna                             Swedish hash, served with a slice of beetroot and a fried egg on top.
  182. Singani.                          Bolivian national drink.  White brandy + lemonade or fruit juice.
  183. Saltenas.                         Like Mexican empanada, mid-morning pastry with chicken / pork.  Also Bolivian.
  184. Frumenty.                        Porridgy bulgur wheat + milk, with egg yolks, saffron, spices + chicken stock.  English ca. 1400.
  185. Bafat.                         Curry from Mangalore, quite sour, similar to vindaloo.
  186. Indad.                           Similar to Bafat but sweeter, dates, raisins, mint can be added.
  187. Pachadi.                              Curry side dish, vegetables with coconut, often with yoghurt, and often soft vegetables/fruit: cucumber, squash, mango, pineapple etc.
  188. Poutine.                              Canadian filler of chips, gravy and cheese.
  189. Ponzu.                              Japanese dipping sauce made with yuzu fruit.
  190. Ssamjang.                             That sweet/hot paste served with Korean Barbecue.  A mixture of Doenjang – fermented soybean paste – and Gochujang – red pepper paste.  Gochujang is of course also used with Bibembap – that Korean sort of Nasi Goreng – and Tteokbokki – a Korean snack.  Tteokbokki is also known as Tteot Jjim. And the leaves you wrap the meat in are called shiso, a kind of mint, also called parilla, or kkaennip / deulkkae in Korea. I do like words.
  191. Sgroppino.                             Italian cocktail of lemon ice cream and Limoncello.
  192. Garfagnana.                           Pig’s head meat poached in pig’s blood, inside a pig’s bladder.  Named after a small north Italian village where they started making it in WW2 when they were low on meat.
  193. Tatami Iwashi.                           Small sheets made from tiny tiny sardines – shirasu – entwined together and fried.  You can see their tiny eyes.
  194. Haleem.                      Thick gloopy meat and pulses curry.
  195. Nihari.                         The King of Curries.  Lamb shank, rich hot sauce.  
  196. Paya.                           Curry made with trotters. 
  197. Kajmak.                          Serbian sheep’s cheese.
  198. Jicama.                            An Asian root vegetable, like a turnip, eaten raw, tastes woody.
  199. Camote.                           Mexican sweet potato.
  200. Carrageen.                           Irish seaweed.
  201. Chayote.                    That green, wrinkly squash, also known as christophene, mirliton, choko, xuxu, chow chow, gϋisquil, iskus, citrayota and starprecianté.
  202. Pastilla.                         Moroccan pigeon pie, dusted with powdered sugar.
  203. Pissaladiere.                       Provençal pizza loaded with onions and anchovies, lots of thyme, can also have olives.
  204. Avgolemono.                   Greek soup, broth with rice, chicken, stock, eggs and lemon.
  205. Skyr.                    Icelandic very thin cheese, like yoghurt.
  206. Tarator.                      Turkish dip made from pine nuts, soaked bread, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil.
  207. Poke.                   Pron. pokay.  Hawaiian raw fish salad.
  208. Khash.                    ‘The masterpiece of Armenian cuisine’, said the article I read.  Four cow’s feet and ankles, boil for 32 hours, then stir in raw garlic and salt and serve with flatbread.  The fat actually congeals into yellow lumps. Rustic farmer’s stew eaten for breakfast with many shots of vodka before they go off to the fields with scythes.
  209. Pruyr.                      Also Armenian, chunks of pork fat served on grilled potato. How are these people still alive?
  210. Murano.                          Italian broad bean,pancetta and courgette salad, garnished with walnuts.
  211. Fideo.                             Mexican fried pasta dish.
  212. Arancini.                 Fried rice balls in breadcrumbs.
  213. Agrodolce.                    Italian sweet and sour sauce.
  214. Boccafico.                  Sicilian stuffed sardines with pine nuts, raisins, anchovies, lemon juice, sugar.
  215. Suffolk Stew.                          Mutton meatballs, lentils, barley, anchovy.
  216. Queen’s Potage.                                Almond milk, mushrooms, chicken, pistachio, pomegranate.
  217. Harrogate Loaf.                          Veal, bacon and parsley terrine.
  218. Tweed Kettle.                          Sea trout w/ lemon, herbs and nutmeg.
  219. Kiviak.                                This is a beauty.  An Inuit food, dead auks are stuffed inside a freshly-disembowelled seal, which is tightly sown up, then buried in the ground under a flat stone for several months, seam side up to allow for any gases which are produced to escape.  Then the birds are taken out and eaten, though their fermented intestinal juices are sucked out, or used as sauces for other dishes.
  220. Mondongo.                                  Central American tripe soup.
  221. Vaho.                               Sunday in Nicaragua.  Beef + plantain + yucca, cooked in banana leaves, served topped with cabbage salad.
  222. Khoresh.                               Iranian stew.  Lots of different varieties.
  223. Surstromming.                                  Canned fermented Baltic herring.
  224. Guatita.                                 Ecuador. Tripe in potato and peanut sauce.
  225. Caldo de Tronquito.                                  Ecuadorian bull penis soup.
  226. Cuy.                                       Ecuadorian spit roast guinea pig.
  227. Homiga Culona.                     Columbian roast ants.
  228. Alpukat.                                International avocado milkshake.
  229. Achiote paste.                        Yucatan spice paste, with annatto (achiote) seeds, chillies, G, vinegar, allspice, cloves, OJ, lemon and tequila.
  230. Pontack.                  Old English elderberry sauce.
  231. Murtabak.                  Or Martabak or Mutabbaq, stuffed Middle Eastern or Malaysian pancake.
  232. Fideua.                     Valencian noodle paella.
  233. Tocco.                       Ligurian meat sauce.
  234. Halaszle.                      Hungarian fish soup.
  235. Flamiche.                        French cheese and leek quiche.
  236. Bunny Chow.                Not what you think it is.  No rabbit involved, this is a famous lamb curry from Durban, served in a hollowed out loaf of bread.
  237. Chakalaka.                         South African tomatoey relish/sauce.  
  238. Shakshouka.                Tunisian eggs baked with tomato and chilli and spices.  The word means ‘to shake’, which is done to the pan during cooking.   Menemet is a similar Turkish dish, with black pepper and oregano, and the eggs are scrambled.
  239. Baharrat.                     Arabian spice mix.
  240. Benachin.                   Also called Jollof rice, see 129.  West African rice w/ toms and spices.
  241. Laap.                     Also spelt larb, larp, lahp and lahb, the Laotian National Dish, minced meat salad.
  242. Jaffle.                 Australian toasted sandwich.
  243. Fassoulia.                  Further-east-than-France version of cassoulet.  Meat and beans.
  244. Farofa.                   Toasted, flavoured cassava flour. Served as a side dish in Brazil.
  245. Bajri.                    Indian millet bread, flat and quite solid, often flavoured with fenugreek.
  246. Chakapuli.                     Georgian lamb/veal stew with sour plums and tarragon.
  247. Ajika.                  Georgian hot red sauce.
  248. Gyalagyash.                    Armenian thick lentils, beef, garlic and black pepper stew.
  249. Cioppino               Italian/American fish soup/stew originating in San Francisco.
  250. Zouk/Zhoug                 Indian mint sauce/Yemeni coriander sauce, depending on your source! Pesto texture.
  251. Khichdi                    Indian rice with lentils, very lightly spiced
  252. Suya                     Nigerian spice mix / marinade: deep fried peanut butter flakes, ground ginger, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, paprika…
  253. Kuku                   Iranian quiche / omelette.
  254. Zaalouk                Moroccan / Berber salad of grilled aubergine, mushed and mixed with tomatoes, garlic and spices. I may have put this in just cos it starts with z.
  255. Toum.          Lebanese garlic sauce. Often bright white and fluffy.
  256. Meni-meniyong. Malian sweet sesame cookies.
  257. Machboos. Qatari / Bahraini / Kuwaiti national dish. Like a biryani, with lentils and raisins, the rice is cooked in the water from the meat.
  258. Domada. Mandinka peanut stew.
  259. Salan.                  Pakistani curry, usually chicken or goat.
  260. Brack.             Yorkshire cake with fruits steeped in (Yorkshire) tea.
  261. Barm cake.             NW English soft, round bread roll, made from barm, which is the foam or scum formed on the top of a fermenting liquid, such as beer, wine, or feedstock for spirits or industrial ethanol distillation (Wiki). In Wigan they put a whole pie in a barm. There was a famous Irish baker who made both of the above, called Brack O’Barmer.
  262. Cincalok. Malaysian fermented shrimp/rice/shallots/chillies/lime juice condiment.
  263. Tiradito. Peruvian ceviche with sweet potato.
  264. Hallacas. Pron. Alaka. Venezuelan tamales. Includes, among other things, bacon, beef, olives, wine, raisins and capers. 
  265. Efo-riro.      A Nigerian stew of steak, smoked fish, prawns and greens.
  266. Galbi Jjim.      Korean short-rib stew with soy, mirin, pear juice and sesame oil, radish, potato and mushrooms.
  267. Pithli and Zunka.                      A sort of thick dall, I think, and a dryer, chunkier version of the same. Often served with bhakri, which as that always seems to be bread or savoury wafers, I think may be a corruption of the word ‘bakery’. Just an un-googled thought.
  268. Pampushky. Ukrainian garlic and dill bread.
  269. Elote.        Mexican street snack.-Smoked corn on the cob with cheese, chilli and lime.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu