ITALIAN FOOD: LOST IN TRANSLATION
Italian food is known world over, but sometimes our native exports get so wildly popular that other nations want to get in on all the delicious hype and tweak our cuisine! Let’s look at a few examples of some of our favourite foods that have become a little ‘lost in translation!’
Panini or Panino?
I hate to break it to you, it’s just a simple sandwich my friends. If you happen to be talking about more than one (the plural), it’s panini. One sandwich is ‘panino’ and It’s nothing fancy. No special bread. It’s not lightly brushed with olive oil and placed in a grill. It’s just a sandwich. During summers in Italy when Italians are planning to spend the day at the beach, you’ll often see locals lined up at Supermarkets or ‘alimentari’ (small food shop) deli counters asking the for a ‘panino’. They’ll choose their bread, then a type of cold cut like prosciutto or mortadella along with some cheese, which the deli clerk will slice up and please don’t forget about Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Vegetarians can also be in luck as some shops will even have delicious roasted vegetables like aubergines, artichokes lingering in olive oil and herbs, and let’s not forget sun-dried tomatoes! So let it be known, you don’t need a fancy grill for an Italian Panino. But you do for a grilled cheese sandwich!
How do Italians say Bruschetta?
Speaking of bread and such, I give you bruschetta… a delicious appetiser of toasted fresh bread drizzled with olive oil and tomato and a little oregano or basil, but variations are many and the possibilities are endless. But for clarity purposes, it’s actually NOT pronounced “BREW-SHET-AA,” it’s pronounced “BREW-SKETT-AA.”
Expresso or Espresso?
Next is our favourite Italian caffeine fix, “espresso” NOT “expresso!” Italians can be seen standing in coffee bars indulging in their potent mini-doses at any time of day, however being seen drinking a cappuccino after the clock strikes 12 is an abomination for Italians!
Pepperoni or Peperoni?
Pizza lovers, pay attention. THIS is important.
Pepperoni. The hard truth is that what you get in English-speaking countries, is not what you get in Italy…
The word ‘pepperoni’ in Italian actually refers to peppers, the vegetable.
If you really have your heart set on the Italian version of the American classic, the closest you will find is a ‘Diavola’ which is a delicious pizza topped with thinly sliced spicy sausage (or better say salame). Of course if you are a vegetarian on simply love peppers, you’ve got it made!
This gorgeous, excellent and tasty ‘Diavola’ specimen was found (and devoured) at Pizzeria Gourmet Feba in Collecorvino Abruzzo.
Italy may be known for it’s over-the-top bureaucratic practices, but ordering in an Italian pizzeria is very orderly. No need to create your own combination, you choose one of the many varieties listed on the menu and whatever you do, don’t ask for pineapple!
Discover the Real Italy: Beyond Pasta, Pizza, and Tiramisu
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Taste the real flavors, learn the right pronunciation, and cook like a local! Enquire now and let’s uncover the hidden gems of this beautiful country together. From undiscovered lands to captivating history, you’ll savor the best of Italy, one mispronounced word at a time!