Kimberly Lord Stewart

March 22, 2010

1 Min Read
You say stee-vee-ah, I say steh-vee-ah

Lost in the Reb-A revolution is some basic nomenclature. Specifically, how exactly should the word "stevia" be pronounced?

More often than not, people are saying it with a long-e sound, like the name Steve.

But if you talk to the father of stevia, Jim May — who brought the sweet leaf to the American market back in 1982 — he'll tell you differently.

"It's pronounced steh-via," said May. "It's from Peter James Estéve, the Spanish botanist who died in 1556. And Dr Vito Rebaudi was the first to conduct a chemical analysis of stevia and its health benefits. And Moises Bertoni, who got the farmers growing it in 1900."

We know how old habits die hard. But just as the industry has helped consumers properly pronounce açai (ah-sigh-ee), we can now lead the charge in the proper pronunciation of the next great natural sweetener.

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