Food Names That Are Totally Fake
Some food names that include a region do come from that region. Others don’t.
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The Accurate or Misleading
Third, there are foods whose names could be accurate or could be misleading. For example
• Darjeeling tea. Technically, “Darjeeling tea” refers only to tea that’s grown and produced in Darjeeling, India; a hill town in the Himalayas. However, this tea isn’t native to Darjeeling. It was brought there from China in 1841 by an English civil servant. And he likely smuggled it in. So is this tea’s moniker a mistake? Hard to say.
• Key lime pie. These tangy pies made with condensed milk were first whipped up in the Florida Keys in the 1850s. Bakers used juice from limes grown on the Keys. Today, however, almost all limes grown in America are Tahitian limes. Key lime pies are usually made with these. So should we still be calling this dessert Key lime pie? Maybe we should try Tahiti lime pie.
• Veal parmesan. This dish of breaded veal topped with tomato sauce is popular in Italian-American restaurants. The name likely comes from Parmesan cheese, a hard cheese originally made in Parma, Italy. However, there’s no dish like veal parmesan served in Parma. Even worse, veal parmesan is usually topped with mozzarella cheese. Maybe we should start calling this dish veal mozzarella.
In summary, some food names that include a region do come from that region. Others don’t.
Collins, Ross F. “A Tea Pilgrimage to Darjeeling.” North Dakota State University. http://bit.ly/1CBFu9B (accessed April 13, 2015).
Herbst, Ron, and Sharon Tyler Herbst. The Cheese Lover's Companion: The Ultimate A-to-Z Cheese Guide. William Morrow Cookbooks, 2007. http://bit.ly/1Obhuj4 (accessed April 13, 2015).
Herbst, Ron, and Sharon Tyler Herbst. The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion, 2nd Ed. Barron's Educational Series, 2015. http://bit.ly/1CWW5nG (accessed April 13, 2015).
Ayto, John. The Diner’s Dictionary: Word Origins of Food. Oxford University Press, 2012. http://bit.ly/1ObhShI (accessed April 13, 2015).
Mariani, John F. Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink. Bloomsbury USA, 2014. http://bit.ly/1PJ8wxl (accessed April 13, 2015).
Tea Board of India. Darjeeling Tea. http://bit.ly/1IGc9C9 (accessed April 13, 2015).