The only thing that stood between 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali and the 2014 National Spelling Bee trophy was everyone’s favorite Passover treat, knaidel, the Yiddish equivalent of matzo ball.
Mahankali breezed through the word without batting an eye, confirming what we believed all along—it pays to be up on your food game.
This year’s contestants are once again being tested on their gastronomic knowledge. If this young bro-in-the-making can handle words like “colocynth” and “avgolemono,” then you should too. Here we round-up the most interesting food-related words in the 2015 Spelling Bee thus far.
Photo: Caviar Astrakhan
Definition: A light to dark gray caviar from a sturgeon of a genus found in the Caspian sea that has very small roe.
Definition: Meat, soybean curds, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and other vegetables cooked in soy sauce, sake, and sugar.
Definition: Beef or fowl casing stuffed with a savory flavoring (as of matzoh flour, chicken fat, and onion) and roasted
Photo: Seeking Sustenance
Definition: A very large, edible bony fish of the rivers of northern South America that is of great importance in the diet of natives in the region.
Photo: Garden Fresco
Definition: Having the green color of a leek.
Photo: Dinner with Weijia
Definition: A soup consisting especially of seafood and vegetables cooked in a broth.
Photo: Wildlife of Hawaii
Definition: An endemic Hawaiian blueberry with a shining, fleshy rather astringent red or yellow berry.
Definition: The spongy fruit of a Mediterranean and African herbaceous vine which is related to the watermelon.
Definition: A soup or sauce made of chicken stock, egg yolks, and lemon juice.
Definition: The production, processing, and marketing of olives.
Definition: The fruit of a rather small, compact plum that has small dark purple fruits and is native to Asia Minor.
Definition: Of the color wine red.
Definition: A fillet of freshened salt herring rolled up with pickle or onion, skewered, and then pickled in a spiced marinade.
Photo: Anna Seychelles
Definition: The desire to eat unusual foods.