European Food Names Literally Translated

Ever been dining abroad or at a posh restaurant and fancied ordering something really exotic? It all sounds lovely, but what is it?

The names of certain foods from around the world can leave you a little perplexed if you’re not completely sure what it is you’re ordering, but finding out what the names mean can be somewhat off putting and you might just lose your appetite…

Linguistics are a strange thing, so we decided to dig a little deeper into some of the names given to traditional foods from different European countries such as France, Denmark and Germany. We then took those names and literally translated them into English. Some are hilarious, some are disturbing but we’re pretty certain they all taste absolutely delicious! Who doesn’t want to eat a dead grandma or a poo satchel for lunch, right?

Peruse our delicious continental menu below and let us know what you think…

What Did I Just Order?

On the Menu

Tantalise your taste buds with our specially-selected array of European delights, creating a delicious food fusion, perfect for those who aren’t all that fussy:

To Start 

Amuse-Bouche = Mouth Amuser

Nothing amuses your mouth more than a cute, perfectly formed little treat on a cocktail stick. Basically a bite-sized ‘Hors D’ouvre”, which when translated literally, means “outside of work” – because nothing says party time quite like tiny French food.

Strozzapreti = Priest Strangler

When spaghetti just doesn’t cut it, it’s time to step up your pasta game and why not opt for one with murderous intentions? It’s alleged that Strozzapreti got its name from the greedy Italian priests who, upon receiving the dish from locals, gobbled it down so fast, they choked! 


Main Course

Tote Oma = Dead Grandma

The UK has black pudding, Germany has dead grandma. Essentially, it’s minced up blood sausage which is then fried with onion and bacon. Tote Oma is also known as “Verkehrsunfall”, which when literally translated, means “traffic accident”. It’s not looking good for this dish.

Balg-Bhuachair = Poo Satchel

Scottish cuisine isn’t something you’d often consider a delicacy, but if you’re feeling adventurous, then a poo satchel might just be your bag. In Scots-Gaelic, you’d actually be ordering a nice dish of mushrooms. Might need some garlic with this one though.

Blote Billen In Het Gras = Bare Buttocks in the Grass

If anything is going to set your heart racing, it’s Blote Billen In Het Gras from The Netherlands. It’s not however, as exciting as it sounds. The dish consists of mashed potatoes and veg, which is then topped with green beans and “white” beans, which are thought to resemble someones plump rump poking out of the grass. Yum!

Soufflé Au Fromage = Cheese Breath

What could be more delightful when eating a lovely romantic meal with your significant other? This French dish is a lighter than air baked egg dish that puffs up in the oven. Soufflé literally translates as “breath” and “au fromage” is “with cheese”. Maybe not a good choice for a first date…


Side Orders

Brændende Kælighed = Burning Love

Although this Danish delight sounds like you’re ordering a plate of heartburn, it’s actually mashed potatoes which are topped with diced bacon and onions, then served with pickled beetroot. It’s not clear where the name came from, but this dish is meant to conjure feelings of “Hygge”. It must be served piping hot too. Obviously.

Patatje Oorlog = War Fries

If you’ve got the munchies while in The Netherlands, then this odd concoction might be the one for you. When we say odd mix, we mean it; peanut butter, mayonnaise, diced onion and ketchup all make an appearance. The name derives from the messiness of the toppings and the fact it looks like a condiment battleground. Our guess is that the flavours are at odds too!



Pets de Nonne = Nun’s Farts

These heavenly French pastries are light and crisp, with a delicious cream filling. The lightness and out of this world taste is said to have inspired the rather tongue-in-cheek name. However, it’s said that those who attended convent school are the only one’s to really know the truth behind the name…

Papo de Anjo = Angel’s Double Chin

Many desserts have biblical references in their name and with good reason. These Portuguese balls of deliciousness are no exception. They’re thought to have been given their name because they were originally sold by nuns and monks to pay for food and repairs of the monasteries and convents. We can only assume the double chin element is a nod to what will happen when you over indulge on them.

Éclair au Chocolate = Chocolate Lightening

Choux pastry has to be one of the greatest things to come out of France (as far as sweet treats go anyway). Everyone loves a nice chocolate eclair, right? Pastry, cream and lots of dreamy chocolate poured on top, what’s not to love?! Éclair literally translates as “flash of lightning” and we can see why they might associate that with this dessert… We’re more than happy to demolish one in next to no time.