Chinese gooseberry, anyone?
The idea of eating any type of fruit named after a feathery bird that poops a lot is certainly off-putting for most of us, which is why you’d be unsurprised to learn that the “Chinese gooseberry” is now called a kiwi. The fuzzy fruit is not the first to fall victim to (or be saved by, arguably) marketing companies of major food producers and distributors as a way to sell more product. In fact, many of your favorite delicacies, especially fish, are just ugly-named animals with fancy upgrades.
We’ve rounded up nine of the most interesting identity changes we could find. Scroll down to check them out!
Original Name: Dolphinfish
New Name: Mahi Mahi
Why? Flipper’s cute and all, but not cute enough to eat. The act of slaughtering intelligent dolphins has been a source of controversy for many years now and despite mahi mahi looking nothing like your favorite animal at Sea World, consumers get easily confused. Plus, mahi mahi is honestly fun to say. Yay for repetition.
Original Name: Rapeseed Oil
New Name: Canola Oil
Why? This one’s pretty self-explanatory. We don’t really want to bake grandma’s famous Christmas cookies with something that sounds like the most horrific act in the world. Good move, seed-derived oil companies.
Original Name: Patagonian Toothfish
New Name: Chilean Sea Bass
Why? Frankly, it’s terrifying to think that any fish (other than a shark) has teeth. Chilean sea bass makes the toothfish sound exotic and less like something you’d see mounted on the wall at your dentist’s office.
Original Name: Prunes
New Name: Dried Plums
Why? If the idea of living in a nursing home tickles your fancy, you probably eat prunes and enjoy their name on the regs. If you’re only interested in a dried fruit with an incredible amount of belly-busting fiber, the idea of eating grandpa’s favorite snack can be very unappealing. In defense of California, one of the world’s biggest exporters, prunes really are dried plums. It’s not that much of a stretch to call them what they are.
Original Name: Slimehead
New Name: Orange Roughy
Why? Yeah, we’d like to avoid any fish that sounds like it’s covered in mucus. We especially don’t want to be reminded that slimeheads, aka orange roughy, are actually named after the mucus-filled canals on their ugly faces. Orange roughy it is.
Original Name: Mud Bugs
New Name: Crayfish
Why? The idea of eating dirt-covered insects isn’t the most appetizing. Crayfish implies that the animal actually comes from the sea, which certainly helps at the next big boil. Insect dishes, however, have become increasingly popular in the US. For now, we’ll just stick to mini lobsters.
Original Name: Rockfish
New Name: Red Snapper
Why? Red snapper is a luxury. The Pacific version is called “rockfish,” but can technically be marketed as uber-expensive and Atlantic-derived red snapper because, well, red snapper is still technically what it is. The former obviously has a different taste and feel, which means fish companies are sneaky when it comes to tricking consumers into thinking they’re getting the version with better quality. Tsk, tsk.
Header image courtesy of Mint Images/REX/Shutterstock.