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14 Foods You Didn’t Know Were Called by Different Names in the U.K.

The chips/fries difference is just the beginning.

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ZucchiniPhoto: Shutterstock


If you want some summer squash during a U.K. visit, keep an eye out for “courgette” instead of zucchini. The name also lends itself well to British “courgetti”—courgette spaghettie—or as Americans say, “zoodles.”

Try making this Zucchini-Carrot Crustless Quiche.

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Grilled shrimpPhoto: Shutterstock


In the United States, there’s a difference between shrimp and prawns; shrimp are small with short legs, while prawns are larger and have more claws. In the United Kingdom though, both of the little crustaceans are almost always called prawns.

Not a fan of seafood? This simple Sautéed Shrimp with Parsley recipe will surely make you change your mind!

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Club sodaPhoto: Shutterstock


If you’re looking for sparkling water in Britain, ask for soda water. Americans adopted the names “seltzer water” and “club soda” after World War II, but the original “soda water” name stuck around in the U.K.

Check out 12 Things to Do with Club Soda.

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Potato friesPhoto: Shutterstock


Don’t blame your British server if burger and “chips” comes with a side of fries—in the U.K., that’s technically what you asked for. But Brits wouldn’t consider every French fry a chip. Chips specifically have to be thick cut, sort of like steak fries. Those skinny ones you get at fast food restaurants aren’t true chips.

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Potato chipsPhoto: Shutterstock


If you actually are dead-set on some chips, ask for a bag of crisps. Oh, and look for the brand Walkers, which is the British Lay’s brand. Sour cream and onion might be popular in North America, but you’re more likely to find cheese and onion in the U.K.

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Jelly beansPhoto: Shutterstock


A little packaged good for your candy craving would be called “sweets” or “sweeties” in Britain. Just don’t call that Cadbury’s bar a sweet. Chocolate bars are their own category, but sweets can be any other confection, from fruity gummies to hard toffees.

Jelly beans have a juicy back story. Read on to find out.

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Cotton candyPhoto: Shutterstock

Cotton candy

The spun sugar still gets its “candy” claims in the U.K., where it’s called candy floss.

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Chocolate chip cookiesPhoto: Shutterstock


In the U.K., a cookie specifically refers to a chocolate chip cookie. (Don’t miss this recipe!) Anything else would be called a “biscuit.” Biscuits aren’t the chewy cookies you’d find in American bakeries, but have a crisper texture, like shortbread.

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CilantroPhoto: Shutterstock


Cilantro is one of those foods you either love or hate. If you’re in the latter group, steer clear of “coriander” in Great Britain.

Check out 8 Indian Spices You Can Use in Everyday Cooking.

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Grilled cheesePhoto: Shutterstock

Grilled cheese

Don’t get disgruntled when you can’t find your favourite comfort food on a British menu. A cheese toastie will give you that same deliciously toasted bread and heavenly melted cheese that you’re looking for. It might be panini-pressed or baked in the oven instead of on a skillet, but it’s guaranteed to satisfy your craving.

Check out James Cunningham’s 6 Must-Know Grilled Cheese Tips.

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Grilled eggplantPhoto: Shutterstock


Brits say “aubergine” instead of “eggplant.” American clothing retailers seem to like the term too. You’ll usually see a dark purple shirt labeled “aubergine,” which we would imagine makes it a better sell than an “eggplant” top.

Get the recipe for Grilled Eggplant With Herbs and Balsamic Vinegar.

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Orange ice popsPhoto: Shutterstock

Ice pops

If you think of those frozen treats as an ice lollipop, Brits just take a different chunk of the word and call them ice lollies instead of pops.

Don’t miss Graham Elliot’s Watermelon and Jalapeño Ice Pops!

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Sandwich rollPhoto: Shutterstock

Sandwich roll

A soft, round roll you might consider a burger bun in Canada has a different name in Britain: a bap. Depending on where you are, you might also hear them called barms, cobs, stotties, teacakes, oggies, muffins, and more, according to Express. They’re often eaten at breakfast with one simple meat, topped with ketchup or BBQ sauce-like brown sauce. It’s worth a sandwich if for no other reason than the fun of saying “bacon bap.”

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ArugulaPhoto: Shutterstock


No, the rocket salad you see on a menu has nothing to do with space travel. “Rocket” is just another name for “arugula.”

At home, try one of these healthy salad tricks.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest