16 Dishes That Aren’t At All What You Thought

As the old saying goes – don’t judge a book by it’s cover. This rule typically applies to people, but this list would argue that it should apply to foods as well. With all kinds of different foods and cooking, there are some food names that aren’t actually what you think they are.

For this list, we’ll be looking at food items that you’d think you can interpret from the name, but will get something completely different. Some of them will have deceptive names, tripping up your menu interpreting abilities. Others might have outright confusing names and turn out to be quite unappealing dishes.


Eskimo Ice Cream

Everyone loves ice cream and as soon as you think of it you think of your favorites. Hate to break it to you, but this ice cream isn’t what you expect at all. This concoction is made of reindeer fat or seal oil, berries, snow, and may even have ground fish.

Fun fact, this dish is commonly made after the first catch of a seal or polar bear.



Black Pudding

Another item most would take very literally. Some might even think it’s just chocolate pudding that is mixed with dark chocolate. The reality is it’s actually a sausage that’s made with another ingredient: coagulated blood. Despite it clearly not being a desert, some still eat it on the regular, claiming it to be a superfood. Some eaters suggest it’s high in magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium.



Rocky Mountain Oysters

Not to disappoint you, but these aren’t the oysters you think they are. This deceptive “seafood” dish is actually just battered sheep, pig, or bull testicles.

How the name came to be was due to the first ranchers who settled on the Rocky Mountain area. At the time, they didn’t want to waste any part of the animal, so they had these bits to eat as well.



Lunenburg Pudding

A German dessert and delicacy? Not exactly. It’s a sausage made from the organs of pigs and cows.

One thing you might’ve noticed about this list so far is that many of the “pudding” dishes are actually sausage. Well, that’s because the original meaning of pudding in English was actually sausage. This is why a lot of the puddings today are sausages.




Most people take this title literally and think this is bread that’s really sweet. Can’t go wrong with that, right? Well, unfortunately sweet bread is actually the pancreas or thymus of either a pig, cow, calf, or lamb.

Fun fact about sweetbread is that some people think the “sweet” part of sweetbread comes from the organ meat. In some dishes of sweetbread the organ is actually cooked to be sweeter rather than savory. Not that that is going to change anything about this weird dish.




While some might think this is some type of fish, you’re going to have to think a little bigger. Balut is actually a Philippines delicacy that even some Filipinos can’t stomach to have. Why? Because Balut is actually an embryo of a developing bird.




Crispy fried finger food? Not even close. This crispy sounding food is actually just cooked pig intestines. People still eat it today probably for the same reason why it was served up in Medieval times as well: it’s cheap and there is a lot of it. It was a great peasant dish.



Lamb’s Fry

It’s gotta be fried lamb, right? Well, it’s pretty close. It is lamb, but the parts that are fried are likely different. For this particular dish, you’re usually served the liver. However you can sometimes be served the heart, brain, pancreas, testicles, or kidneys instead.

Before you get too grossed out, do note that this dish can also come with bacon and gravy that’s made from the various juices. As deceptive as it can be, that actually sounds nice.. kind of.




First guess might be a fancy French dish, but as usual that’s way off. Remember the chitterlings? Well these are sausages made from them. This time though they smell even worse this way. Even people who eat this on the regular admit the smell is terrible.




This dish many believe is a dish that was served around the ancient Inca times. It’s merely raw fish that cured within citrus juice.




Getting into Korean cooking, you’d think this is a candy or something, right? This unusual name is actually describing silkworm pupae that are boiled and served as Beondegi. This dish is typically served out of street vendor stalls.




You’re getting warmer if you’re thinking this is some kind of fish. Lutefisk is indeed a fish, but specifically the jelly from it. While a lot of people can be grossed out by it, that’s not the case with Madison, MN. They dubbed themselves a while back as “the lutefisk capital of the world.”




Not to be confused with the board game, this dish is actually a meat loaf of sorts. Usually served for breakfast as a side dish, this loaf is made of pork scraps and trimmings.



Head Cheese

Like everything on this list, it’s not literal cheese. This is a meat jelly that’s made out of the head of a calf or a pig. Funny enough, making head cheese doesn’t require the use of gelatin. In other meat dish-making process they use gelatin – a process of boiling animal bones and using it to keep everything together. With head cheese, you can skip this step as the meat from this part holds together.




This isn’t a pasta, but rather goat or sheep intestines wrapped around a skewer and grilled. Along with the skewered intestines, a leak is inserted along with it during the grilling process. It actually is a tasty dish despite what it actually is.



Mountain Chicken

Another literal name dish, it’s actually a giant frog. Fortunately, you will not see this on the menu any time soon for rather unfortunate reasons. A long time ago, many considered the mountain chicken to be a delicacy and now the species is severely endangered.