Food Faux Pas Put Brits To Shame


We are a nation of self-confessed foodies, however millions of Brits think an “aperitif” is an after-dinner drink, “al dente” means you’re eating outside – and a “blue steak” means it comes with a blue cheese sauce. Oh dear…

A new study into the nation’s knowledge of food and drink has revealed a host of hilarious foodie faux pas – with a staggering 17% of Brits confusing the term al dente (meaning retaining bite), with “al fresco” – meaning to eat outside. A worrying 17 % think blue steak (meaning rare) means it comes “with a blue cheese sauce” – and a further 8% thought it meant “served cold”. So a blue steak served al dente could be very chilly indeed! A further 14% claimed that a pre-dinner tipple – “aperitif” was a term relating to an “after-dinner drink”.

The survey of almost 2,000 Brits uncovered that almost half (43%) of the nation have tried to impress friends with their understanding of food and wine, and a confident 91% consider themselves to be “knowledgeable” about food. However, fewer than half of those surveyed managed to identify Prosecco, which is now one of Britain’s most popular tipples, as a sparkling wine. The origin of the Italian drink was also not universally recognised, with 13% claiming it was from Spain and a further 8% supposing it was from England. Well we for one could never make that mistake. It comes from our fridge, we’re certain of that…

Sourdough bread is made with “sour flour” according to 19% of the nation – and 6% thought that the fashionable green vegetable kale was in fact, an exotic fruit. A further 18% of Britons think the term “Brut” in relation to wine (it’s literal translation meaning dry) referred to the non-existent “Brut” region of France.

Possibly the most upsetting news for Scots, is that 5% of those polled thought haggis was a traditional English dish…. Och aye. And worryingly, despite the clue being in the name – 4% of Brits thought that Yorkshire pudding originated in Scotland.

A staggering 22% of those polled claimed that the wine “Pinot Noir” – pinot referring to the type of grape, and “noir” meaning black – was a white wine.

Chef & Brewer, who commissioned the study, are looking to find the minority of the public that DO know their stuff about food and drink for its first ever ‘Fizzician’ role. Caroline Gallimore, brand manager for the pub restaurant chain, said: “Many of us pride ourselves on our knowledge of food and drink, but it seems we’re not as clued up as we like to think we are. We were particularly surprised to see that fewer than half of Brits knew Prosecco was a sparkling wine, given its huge surge in popularity in recent years.”

A clueless two in ten (21%) Brits thought Rosé wine was produced from the non-existent “Rose” grape. Although 69% professed to appreciating good wines – and 79% said that good food and wine was “an important part of their life”.

Well there’s only one way for us to imprve our knowledge of food and drink, and that’s to consume more of it. Salut!

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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