Friday, July 27, 2007

Italian plurals in food words

It is a source of major irritation for the Eggplant to hear the constant misuse of singular and plural in Italian words. People, this is not rocket science. The great majority of nouns ending in -i are plurals. It follows that one should not be adding -s to these words (e.g. raviolis, gnocchis). Nor should one be treating these words as singular (e.g. I had a great panini for lunch). The singular of "panini" is "panino". One does not often hear the singular of pasta words because, like Lay's potato chips, you can't eat just one.

There is an anecdote (which may be apocryphal) that Boston's own Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley's Bistro was confronted by a customer who had ordered crostini and complained when he received just one, noting that "crostini" is in fact plural. Hamersley took back the man's lone crostino, split it in two, and said: "here you go".