Six of the Most Strangely Named Foods

Some foods have perfectly normal sounding names while others make people scratch their heads and wonder what those who named the food were thinking. Perhaps they only meant to make the food memorable by giving it a unique name.

Whatever the reason, reading some of these food names and their origins can be fun. This blog highlights six of the most strangely named foods in the world.

Bubble and Squeak

No one quite knows the origin of the name of this United Kingdom favorite, but the theory is that the people naming it noticed that food tends to bubble up and squeak when heated over fire. The British are crazy about fried leftover vegetables regardless of the name.

Husband and Wife Lung Slices

Alternatively known as Husband and Wife Beef Slices (Fuqi Feipan in Chinese), the origin of this strangely named food goes back to married street vendors Zhang Tianzheng and Gup Zhaohua in the 1930s. The story goes that the couple were selective about the types of meats they used to prepare foods for people on the street.

This led them to experiment with a variety of ingredients and finally settling on thin slices of roast beef. This beef was mostly taken from the tongue and heart areas of a cow.

The story goes that over time, children decided to play a prank on the couple. They would stick notes on their back that read “Fuqi Feipian”, translating in English to “Husband and Wife Lung Slices”. The name stuck in China, but some Western restaurants have renamed the dish Couple’s Delight to make it more palatable for their diners.

Welsh Rabbit

Despite its name, this dish contains no rabbit or any other type of meat. The actual ingredients of the dish include melted cheese over crackers or toast. Some in Wales speculate that the British invented the name as an insult to their neighbors.

Many of the Welsh were poor and could not afford a meal made from rabbit. Legend has it that the Welsh got their revenge by changing the name to Welsh Rarebit to make the dish appear more extravagant.

Today the dish is a pub favorite and sometimes even served as a breakfast food.


Long before the term spam became synonymous with unwanted email, it was a mystery meat in a can. People called Spam a mystery meat because they were not entirely sure of its ingredients. However, the manufacturers of Spam claim the ingredients of its meat include pork, potato starch, sugar, salt, water, and sodium nitrate.

The origin of the name Spam is also a mystery. Although some insist it comes from the abbreviation for shoulder of pork and ham. The S comes from shoulder, the P from pork, and the AM from the last two letters in ham.


Just as Welsh Rabbit contains no rabbit, headcheese contains no cheese. The actual ingredients of the compressed and jellied loaf are the feet and head of a pig, with a pig’s heart sometimes making an appearance as well.

Coddled Eggs

The term coddled eggs came about from the type of container used to prepare and serve this food item. An egg coddler is a pottery cup or piece of porcelain with a lid over it. To prepare coddled eggs, chefs bake or lightly steam them in hot water. This continues until the white part of the egg appears slightly cooked.

Share this post online! Let us know if there are other strangely named foods we missed.


A Strong

Andy is a young writer from New Zealand, who hopes to bring fiction and poetry to the masses. He’s written many short stories and poems over the years, and hopes to do more. Andy hopes to join the creative writing course in September 2016, and feature more of his creative writing as the course progresses.

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