Orissic hot pot

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At the top left and bottom left of this restaurant's home page, written in very small Roman capital letters, it says, "ORISSIC HOT POT", and that is paired with the Chinese name, "zhè yī xiǎoguō 這一小鍋" ("this small pot").

If we do a Google search on "orissic hot pot 這一小鍋" (without the quote marks), we will get 4 pages and 80,000 ghits, the first of which is bafflingly "jīngdiǎn shítou guō" 經典石頭鍋 ("Classic Stone [hot] pot").  If we do a Google search on "經典石頭鍋 classic stone [hot] pot" (without the quote marks), we will get 4 pages and 15,100 ghits.

From reading through the entries in both searches, I get the impression that the switcheroo from jingdiǎn shítou guō 經典石頭鍋 ("Classic Stone [hot] pot") to "zhè yī xiǎoguō 這一小鍋" ("this small pot") arose as a result of a dispute over who has the rights to the name jingdiǎn shítou guō 經典石頭鍋 ("Classic Stone [hot] pot"), which may even have made its way into the courts, including conflicts with aborigines (e.g., Amis) who claimed the latter wording.

I should mention that "zhè yī xiǎoguō 這一小鍋" ("this small pot") has branches all over Taiwan, while 經典石頭鍋 ("Classic Stone [hot] pot") has branches that extend even to Hong Kong (Mong Kok).

As for how "Classic" morphed into "Orissic", that would appear to be simply a gross, visual misperception that has nothing to do with "Orissan" cuisine, which, in any case, is not known for fondue / hot pot.

For transliteration sticklers:

In 2011, the English rendering of ଓଡ଼ିଶା was changed from "Orissa" to "Odisha", and the name of its language from "Oriya" to "Odia", by the passage of the Orissa (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2010 and the Constitution (113th Amendment) Bill, 2010 in the Parliament. The Hindi rendering उड़ीसा (uṛīsā) was also modified to ओड़िशा (or̥iśā). After a brief debate, the lower house, Lok Sabha, passed the bill and amendment on 9 November 2010. On 24 March 2011, Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, also passed the bill and the amendment. The changes in spelling were made with the intention of having the English and Hindi renditions conform to the Odia transliteration. However, the underlying Odia texts were nevertheless transliterated incorrectly as per the Hunterian system, the official national transliteration standard, in which the transliterations would be Orisha and Oria instead.


A tempest in a hot pot!


Selected readings

[h.t. AntC]


  1. Victor Mair said,

    November 3, 2022 @ 9:26 am

    From AntC:

    I'm pleased to hear that the interwebs haven't missed out on a whole culinary tradition – for it to relate to Orissa seemed far-fetched.

    My Taiwanese hosts suspected there was some Japanese connection(?) 'Classic' -> 'Corissic' somehow.

    But to base the signage and url on such a blunder?

  2. Rodger C said,

    November 3, 2022 @ 10:42 am

    I suspect misread cursive: Cl > O, a > ri.

  3. Chris Brockett said,

    November 3, 2022 @ 10:55 am

    May I submit for your scrutiny, a local eatery in Bellevue Washington, called Ori Cafe 又一軒. The English menu prominently features curry. The (much fuller) Chinese menu calls it's offerings "Original Oriental Flavors". I think some serious multilingual punning may be going in. https://cafeoribellevue.com

  4. jin defang said,

    November 3, 2022 @ 3:04 pm

    the contents of a pot by any other name would taste as good?

  5. Michael Watts said,

    November 10, 2022 @ 8:49 am

    Chris Brockett, the response comes late, but I don't see why you say the Chinese menu is much fuller than the English menu. It appears to be almost exactly the same, just in Chinese. They both have 184 identical options divided into identical categories. They are both labeled "Original Oriental Flavor". (The label appears in English on both menus.) The only difference I noticed was that option 36 is marked as spicy on the English menu, but not on the Chinese menu.

    Some care appears to have been taken to translate the Chinese names appropriately – option 50 appears on the English menu as "Sautéed Chicken w/ Peanuts", where in Chinese it is the expected 宮保鷄丁 [gong bao ji ding, "gong bao chicken bits"]. Whoever was responsible for the English menu gave an accurate description of the dish without knowing that in America it is normally known by its Chinese name as "Kung Pao chicken".

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