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Top Misnamed Foods
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During many of our recent dining out experiences, it has come to our attention that globalization has had an effect on culinary differentiation. That is to say, restaurants have been toying with the names of dishes, possibly in an attempt to make them seem non-threatening. You may have noticed them in your own experiences with international cuisine, French toast and Canadian bacon are of this ilk. These names, intended to give customers something to relate their food to, often create unrealistic expectations for what the food will taste like. The following descriptions will, hopefully, clear some of these misconceptions.

3. Peking Ravioli
This misnomer has been used to describe Gyoza, a Japanese type of crescent-shaped dumpling, typically filled with ground pork and minced vegetables, that is pan-fried or steamed. At the most basic level, this dish is similar to ravioli in that it is a thin piece of noodle dough that has some kind of filling, but it is actually quite different. The dough is thinner and more tender and the flavor is not one that should be complemented by tomato sauce. Instead, a splash of soy sauce or ponzu, soy sauce infused with the flavor of yuzu, mixed with a few drops of pepper oil, are the condiments of choice for gyoza.

2. Japanese Pancake
Okonomiyaki literally means 'preference cooking,' which implies that this dish should be cooked 'as you like it.' There is nothing in the word that means or even implies pancakes. The only similarity is the batter that is used as a base for this dish. The batter is poured onto a hot griddle and the similarities end there. At this point, an American might plop some chopped fruits, berries, or chocolate chips onto the pancake before flipping it. At an okonomiyaki shop, however, the batter could then be topped with shredded cabbage, buckwheat noodles, chopped onion, thinly sliced pork, and another layer of batter before being flipped and topped with Japanese-style worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, and dried bonito flakes. Butter and maple syrup are not complementary flavors here. There are countless other varieties of okonomiyaki but the type outlined here is the most basic.

1. Korean Pickles
As far as most people are concerned, when someone says 'pickles' the mind immediately goes to pickled cucumbers. Of course, any number of things can be pickled but very few people will refer to the finished product as a pickle. Instead, you'll hear about things like pickled eggs, pickled pig's feet, pickled peppers, and so forth. The most common variety of Korean pickles, or kimchi, is made with cabbage and spicy red chili peppers and is very spicy. However, many different varieties exist that have a range of spiciness and include ingredients like fish, oysters, radishes, pumpkin, and, yes, even cucumbers. Newcomers to Korean cuisine should be very wary when trying kimchi when it is being advertised as 'Korean pickles'; it's not something you'd necessarily want on a burger or in your relish.

There are a number of other misnamed foods that are much more common and have already been adopted by the mainstream: chicken fingers, lady fingers, French toast, Rocky Mountain oysters, Canadian bacon, and buffalo wings all fall into this category. How many people, today, remember that buffalo wings are named such because they originated in Buffalo, NY? It may be too late for all of these dishes but perhaps we should make an effort to put a stop to this watering down of recipe names lest we lose the original flavor altogether.

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