Bombay Duck - Is not "duck" at all, but dried fish. It is also known as Bummalo, which is a species of fish from Southern Asia, particularly abundant in the Ganges Delta and the Arabian Sea of western India.
Cherry tomato - Tomato, yes; no cherries.
Chicken Maryland - This is a batter-fried chicken served with batter-fried bananas and pineapple rings. Another version contains a slice of ham draped over the chicken. It seems to have originated not from the state of Maryland, but in Southern Asia, possibly introduced by the British.
Chinese Fortune cookie - Invented in California, not China.
Colonial Goose - Actually lamb coated with bread-crumbs and, occasionally, bacon. This originated in Australia in the 19th Century. Supplies were scarce and goose was difficult to acquire in Australia, so they had to improvise.
Cream crackers — Contain no cream, and are pale brown in colour.
Crispy Seaweed - This dish, often served as a starter in Chinese restaurants in the west, is actually deep fried shredded spring greens.
Duck sauce - Sauce, yes; no duck in the ingredients.
Five Alive - Fruit juice blend, depicting five fruits on the label, but consisting mostly of sugar (high fructose corn syrup).
Fruity Pebbles - Cereal. No fruit, no pebbles. (List of ingredients shows no fruit.)
Hawaiian pizza - This version of pizza does not come from Hawaii at all. It is a pizza with toppings of pineapple and ham, and sometimes onions or peppers. The name probably came from the pineapples that grow in Hawaii, as well as the traditional place of pork in the native Hawaiian diet.
Mincemeat - Mincemeat was originally a Medieval food made of a sweet, spicy mixture of chopped lean meat, (usually beef, or beef tongue), suet and fruit. Over time, the meat content was reduced, and today the mixture contains nuts, dried fruit, beef suet, spices and brandy or rum, but usually no beef.
Oiseaux sans têtes - Literal translation 'birds without heads'. A Belgian dish constisting of sausage meat wrapped in slices of veal.
Norwegian Omelette - Is neither a Norwegian dish nor is it made from whole eggs. This French dessert, also known as Baked Alaska, consists of hard frozen ice cream on a bed of sponge cake, covered with uncooked meringue. It is kept in the freezer until serving time, when it is placed in a very hot oven, just long enough to brown the meringue.
Peanut - No pea, no nut. Peanuts are legumes, not nuts.
Scotch Woodcock - This is not poultry at all. Instead, it is an egg mixture with anchovies on toast. Sometimes an anchovy paste is used.
Spotted dick - Steamed pudding with spots.
Steak tartare - Not steak, it is raw ground beef, often served with raw egg on top. No tartar sauce, but Worcestershire sauce (tartare is a preparation of finely chopped raw meat or fish).
Sweetbread - This is neither sweet, nor bread. It is a dish made up of the pancreas or the thymus gland of a calf or lamb. It is prepared in a variety of ways, including fried, sauteed or baked.
Sweetmeat - An archaic word for confectionery.
Swiss Wing - This was not invented in Switzerland, but possibly in Hong Kong. It is made with soy sauce and chicken.
Toad in the Hole - This does not contain toads. It is a traditional British dish made of sausage cooked in Yorkshire Pudding. In Australia it is made with an egg, sometimes in place of the sausage, and a slice of bread.
Vanillerostbraten - An Austrian dish which does not contain vanilla, but garlic (which is nicknamed "poor man's vanilla").
Welsh Rabbit or Welsh Rarebit - Neither name describes what this food actually is. It is a concoction of bread and cheese.
Pâté chinois (French, Chinese pie) is not Chinese in origin, and contains no Chinese ingredients. It is actually cottage pie.
Ants Climbing a Tree - This is a Szechuan Chinese meal made with ground pork and vermicelli. The end result resembles columns of ants climbing along twigs.
Gunpowder Tea - This is a Green tea from Guangdong. It does not contain gunpowder, but is made up of tea leaves, hand-rolled into tiny pellets that resemble gunpowder.
Lion's Head - A dish with large pork meatballs, usually cooked in a clay pot or in a wok.
Married Couple's Sliced Lungs - This unfortunate name is not a mis-translation. It is a Szechuan dish, often served cold, which is made of thinly-sliced beef, beef lung/stomach/tongue, and a generous amount of spices, including Szechuan Pepper.
Pico de gallo (Spanish, Rooster's Beak) contains neither roosters nor beaks. Pico de gallo is really a type of chile sauce.
Refried beans are only fried once.
Carne de chango or Carne de mono (Spanish, Monkey Meat) is actually marinated, smoked pork.
 South Africa
Bunny Chow is actually a popular South African meal consisting of an emptied out half-loaf of bread filled with chips (french fries), curry, or meat—but never rabbit meat. The Afrikaans name for this dish, "Katkop", translates to "cat head".
Monkeygland Sauce has nothing to do with monkeys or glands, but is a very popular South African sauce that usually consists of a marinade of fruit chutney, red wine (or tomato sauce), and hot sauce. It is mostly used to prepare the dish Monkeygland Steak.
Ants on a Log, or Bugs on a Log is a snack made by spreading peanut butter along the trough of a stalk of celery and placing raisins on the peanut butter.
Beef Olives, or Veal Olives, Beef Birds, Veal Birds have no olives and no birds, respectively.
Boston Cooler is a drink combining Vernor's (a very strong regional ginger ale) with vanilla ice cream. It is served throughout southeastern Michigan, including Detroit, but is virtually unknown in the city of Boston.
Boston Cream Pie and Washington Pie are cakes, not pies.
Buffalo Wings contain chicken, not buffalo. The name comes from the fact that the preparation originated in Buffalo, NY
Caesar Salad has no relation to Julius Caesar, but is named for its creator, Caesar Cardini.
Chinese Chicken Salad is unknown in China.
City Chicken, or Chicken Fried Steak, is not made of chicken. It is veal, pork, or beef (or a combination thereof) that is placed on a skewer, breaded, and fried.
Egg Cream contains neither egg nor cream — it is a classic New York beverage made from milk, chocolate syrup, and seltzer water.
Frankfurters are probably not recognizable as a product of Frankfurt to people from Frankfurt, Germany. More likely invented by German-American immigrants from Frankfurt. Also see Wiener.
French Fries probably originated in Belgium.
French Dressing is unknown in France.
German Chocolate Cake is not a German torte but a wholly American layer cake deriving its name from Sam German, who invented the sweet baking chocolate German's Baker's chocolate in 1852.
Grape Nuts contain neither grapes nor nuts.
Hamburgers are not really made of ham. This may actually be folk etymology because Hamburg, Germany is a city in Germany. See above under Frankfurter. They are usually molded out of ground beef into patties. Allegedly, the name comes from the introduction of Steak Tartar to the west from Hamburg. Ground beef is a related dish.
Head Cheese is not cheese, but a terrine made from the meat of a calf or pig's head (in United Kingdom it is called brawn)
Hot Dogs - meat, but not dog meat. Reputedly named for the sausage's resemblance to the shape of the Dachshund.
Italian dressing, a vinaigrette, is unknown in Italy, where oil and vinegar are usually served separately.
London Broil - unknown in London, or indeed the entire United Kingdom.
Michigan hot dogs are unknown in Michigan; there, people eat Coney Island hot dogs, which do not come from Coney Island.
Rocky Mountain Oysters, also known as "prairie oysters", are not oysters, nor are they from the Rocky Mountains, particularly. They are calf or bull testicles, which some people consider to be a delicacy. "Prairie Oyster" is also the name of a drink made of a raw egg yolk suspended in Worcestershire sauce, a folk hangover cure.
Cocktails have a long line of odd names with no particular reasoning behind the name. Some of the more common drinks include:
Flaming Dr Pepper tastes like Dr Pepper but contains none.
Long Island Iced Tea has no tea in it and is extremely alcoholic.
Root-Beer Shooters taste like root-beer but contain none (they do, however, contain Coca-Cola and Vodka).
Baby Guinness contains no Guinness.
Moose Milk is a Canadian drink made with cow's milk, ice cream, and several types of alcohol.
 Misleading brand names
This section contains commercial names of processed foods that are fancifully comparative, some of which could be considered very odd if taken at face value.
Chick-O-Stick — not a stick of chicken, or chicken on a stick, but a candy bar.
Chicken of the Sea — a brand of canned tuna, famously confused for chicken by pop singer Jessica Simpson.
Chock full o'Nuts (official capitalization) — This brand of coffee contains no nuts
Gatorade - A sport drink most fortunately containing no alligators. The name comes from its development at the University of Florida, where it was first tested on the Gator football team.
Grape-Nuts — Cereal contains neither grapes nor nuts. (Its creator incorrectly thought that the baking process turned starch into "grape sugar".)
Pocari Sweat — Contains no sweat; the misleading name is intended to indicate that it replaces electrolytes lost through sweating.