Renamed Food – I’ll have the Slimehead with Power Peas, please

(Last Updated On: June 16, 2016)

food in basket MC900215906 200pxScience Fact:  Renamed food – the restaurant owner’s secret, coming to a school near you. How about a burger? Or would you rather have two 100% pure beef patties, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread with or without onions, stacked high on a freshly baked bun? (at In-N-Out)

The same tricks that make your mouth water before the order even reaches the kitchen also work in elementary schools. In New York City, when Cornell University researchers renamed the lunchroom foods, the kids ate twice the quantity of “X-Ray Vision Carrots,” “Power Punch Broccoli,” “Tiny Tasty Tree Tops” and “Silly Dilly Green Beans” compared with “ordinary” foods.

We’ve been eating renamed food for a long time — you’ll get a funny look at the meat counter if you ask for cow or pig meat — and foods are renamed for many reasons. There weren’t too many orders for Patagonian Toothfish until someone renamed it Chilean Sea Bass. And Slimehead turned into Orange Roughy, which sounds like a hooligan with a bad spray-tan, but is still an improvement.

How many of these food names can you translate into the terms we use today?
– Chinese gooseberries
– Dolphinfish
– Lumpsucker Roe
– Thymus Gland
– Rapeseed Oil
– Whore’s Eggs
– Goosefish
– Mud bugs
But new names are not just for show — studies show that we think food tastes better and enjoy it more when it’s succulently described.

Science Speculation:  The names parents use for their kids’ food are even more fun.  How about
– Dinosaur Broccoli Trees
– Greek Lasagna (moussaka)
– Chinese Spaghetti (chow mein)
– Chinese Omelette (egg foo yung)
– Cheeseburger Pizza (meatloaf)
and of course…
– Power Peas!

Renamed foods are all around us.  Do you have any favorites?

Articles on renamed foods:

4 Foods Renamed So That You Might Actually Eat Them
7 Food Aliases -
Do You Really Know What You’re Eating?
Cornish tuna renamed Coruna
Culinary Names
Foods you renamed to get the kids to eat
Freedom Fries
Frieda Caplan, How Kiwifruit got its name
Offensive Foods in Austria Renamed
Renaming Fruits And Vegetables With Catchy Names Convinces Kids To Eat Them, Study Says
Sparking your children’s imagination can improve their appetite, claims scientists
Tastes Like Chicken
Tastes Like Chicken?
The Kitchen Thinker: Renaming food
What food product marketed as Elijah’s Manna in 1904 was renamed because of objections from the clergy?

Research Studies:

How descriptive food names bias sensory perceptions in restaurants
Attractive names sustain increased vegetable intake in schools

Comments

Renamed Food – I’ll have the Slimehead with Power Peas, please — 1 Comment

  1. Quite interesting and I can relate. Have been a fan of Chilean Sea Bass for quite a while. Little did I realize it had another name. Restaurants around here even play it up as seasonal/special and command higher menu prices.
    This is great info!