A Sandwich By Any Other Name…

September 15, 2011

…would still be sandwi-licious, to quote Shakespeare. Or not. The inspiration for today’s post comes from an unlikely source: a college Spanish class. The MHK’s founder and Executive Chef is currently enrolled in said class, and they have been discussing food in Latin American culture, learning about restaurant terminology and customs, ordering food, etc. One of the themes that came up in class was that there are different words for the same food, depending on regional dialects. For example, corn is commonly called “maize,” but in parts of Mexico, people say “el elote”; they say “el choclo” in Chile and Peru. Beans in Honduras are known as “frijoles,” and in Puerto Rico they are sometimes called “habichuelas.”

So this got us thinking about regional terminology in the U.S. Homer Simpson, wise and sage as always, gives us an example:

“I’m sick of eating hoagies! I want a grinder, a sub, a foot-long hero!”

Yes, depending on where you are, a large, elongated sandwich can be referred to as any of the terms Homer espouses. Then there’s the word for a carbonated beverage. Most people that I know call it “soda.” But I know there are places, and maybe it’s not as common any more, where people call it “pop.”

Brian Regan points out another semantic difference here: http://comedians.jokes.com/brian-regan/videos/brian-regan—let-s-split-a-pie/

And when we compare our terms to other countries’ terms, we again see differences. In England they call sausage and mashed potatoes “bangers and mash,” they call cookies “biscuits,” French fries are “chips,” and of course botulism is called “steak and kidney pie.” So what are some other food terms that differ around the country, or the world for that matter?


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