WELCOME to another edition of COCKTAIL PARTY TRIVIA. This time we’re talking food.

  • COCONUTS. They are not nuts. In fact, they are drupes – similar to coffee, olives, mangoes and nectarines. They were named after their wee beady little eyes and faces, which Portuguese adventurers thought looked like GOBLINS. Goblin in Portuguese = coco, there you have it, the coconut is born and has been haunting your fruity drinks since.
  • BROCCOLI. It was developed over 2,000 years ago and the word ‘broccoli’ in Italian means ‘little arms’.  It is the T-Rex of vegetables.
  • Nothing rhymes with ORANGE, and here’s (partly) why: *deep breath* – the word entered our language in the 14th Century from the French, who got it from the Spanish (naranj), which was a variation of the Arabic word, which was an adaption of a Persian word. *PHEW* (If this interests you, I got it from here)
  • If you are at a party, there will likely be PUNCH, which derives from the word ‘panch’ – the Hindi word for ‘five’. Punch is supposed to have five categories of flavors (sour, sweet, strong, weak and spice). This also means that our common versions of lemonade, sprite and vodka are historically inaccurate and gastronomically lacking. JUST SO YOU KNOW.
  • One of the possible words that LASAGNA is derived from is the Greek ‘lasanon’, meaning ‘chamber pot’. YUM.


If you are into this sort of food related linguistic fun, and are looking to wrinkle your neurons further, I highly recommend you check out Alton Brown’s GOOD EATS 3 – where some of these tidbits were found. It’s also got lots of recipes for nerdy people.



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