Have you ever stopped while eating mashed potatoes and wondered how someone came up with the word “potato?” Or “cheese?” Or “bacon?” Some food name origins are more obvious and familiar (like “xocolatl” from the Aztecs, for chocolate) but some are just plain weird. Here are some origins of food names that might surprise you.
Flickr user ginnerobot
This treat got its name from a pharmacy in New York that sold a special cherry ice cream treat after church on Sundays for a reverend. Get it?
Flickr user Michael Fötsch
This word actually comes from the Greek “pastos,” which got sort of stolen by the Romans to mean dough.
Flickr user ShardsOfBlue
The word “cheese” comes from the Latin word “caseus,” but the word you’ll probably recognize is the one that the Romans added when they started making cheese: formatus, which became the Italins word “formaggio.”
4. Deviled Eggs
Flickr user m01229
This is a weird one. “Deviling” actually refers to a method of making food spicier. It goes all the way back to the 1780s.
5. Hush Puppies
Flickr user Lowell Heddings
Interestingly enough, this one goes back to the Civil War, when Confederate soldiers used to throw food to their dogs to “hush” them, and keep them from making noise and giving them away.
Flickr user Stacy Spensley
This one could have been the result of a simple typo. The food itself was invented when the chef of a French duke ran out of cream and used olive oil to make the egg-based sauce. It was called “mahonnaise,” but somehow got changed to “mayonnaise.”
What other weird origins of food names do you know? Tell us in the comments!