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Our family ate brains for dinner one night last week.

No, this isn’t an episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. It’s an episode of the Warner family’s crazy word play.

The noodles we call brains, January 20, 2011.

The noodles we call brains, January 20, 2011.

We actually ate noodles that look like brains … to me, anyway, and maybe to Daughter, who I think was the first one in the family to refer to them this way.

When it comes to food, texture is just as important as taste and smell. The wrinkles in these noodles, which are called Radiatore (which I’m pretty sure stands for “brains” in Italian 😉 ) make them fun to eat because they feel good on the tongue.

Radiatore - Italian for radiator, which I think is a horrible mistake. It should be Italian for brains. January 20, 2011.

Radiatore - Italian for radiator, which I think is a horrible mistake. It should be Italian for brains. January 20, 2011.

They probably wouldn’t be as appetizing if they were overcooked, but it’s hard to overcook Radiatore because of their density. The wrinkles also provide lots of surface for sauce to stick to. Num!

My grandpa on my mom’s side of the family was famous for calling foods weird names. This could have backfired on him, resulting in the lot of us grandchildren not eating what he served, except that we knew he was a huge tease. He tried to trick us into eating pats of butter by telling us they were cheese. He called fried strips of beef heart “Snake Meat” and dark, curly lettuce in a thin, white dressing “Frog Grass.”

Of course, it also helped that he was an excellent cook and we couldn’t get enough of what he was serving. After all, taste and smell are as important as texture, but apparently, we’re not turned off by strange names.

Do you refer to particular foodstuffs by names other than what they are? Do you use weird or gross names in describing any food?

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