Make Sense of Menu Jargon With This Colorful Glossary

Caitlin Schneider
Screenshot // OpenTable
Screenshot // OpenTable / Screenshot // OpenTable

Being an adventurous eater isn’t always easy, especially when simply the terminology surrounding food items trips up your ordering game. OpenTable recently released the results of a survey that shows that 29 percent of diners feel some restaurant menus are more confusing than they need to be.

Conducted online by Harris Poll, the canvass also reveals that more than half of diners (56 percent) feel ordering an unfamiliar menu item will ruin their experience. In turn, nearly 75 percent said they feel they will be wasting their money if they don't enjoy their meal. (“Diners” are defined as people who eat out at least once a month.) In short, people are afraid to order new things—but there’s a quick and easy way to decipher unknown terms: a dictionary.

To help eaters parse the big wide world of food lexicon, OpenTable recruited a team of graphic designers to create a “menu jargon decoder,” covering everything from amuse bouche to pavlova. The guide has Illustrations, pronunciations, and definitions to help you fully prepare for your next culinary foray. You can see a list of the least-understood menu items according to those polled, the top five of which are okonomiyaki, gochujang, piri piri, yuzu, and bibimbap.