Saturday, December 22, 2007

Italian food words- meanings

I previously enlightened my readership on the pronunciation of common Italian food words.

Now we'll take a look at the (amusing) meanings of some food words.

Cappuccino- perhaps from Capuchin monks (see above) because of the brown color of their garb or because of the resemblance of the frothy cap to their hood (cappuccio).

Minestrone- from minestra (soup)- big soup.

Calzone- trouser.

Tiramisu- pick-me-up (because of its coffee and liquor content).

Farfalle- bow-tie pasta, butterflies.

Spaghetti- from spago, twine, small twine.

Penne-pens (they look like old-fashioned quill tips).

Penne all'arrabbiata- angry-style penne, because the sauce is fiery.

Gnocchi- lumps (also used as an insult for allegedly stupid people).

Orecchiette- little ears.

Strozzapreti-priest-chokers (priests historically having the reputation for loving food- they're so good a voracious cleric might choke in his hurry to devour them).

Spaghetti alla puttanesca- whore-style spaghetti, apparently because it is so quick to make that the professional women could make it between meetings.

Polpettone- from polpetta, meatball, big meatball i.e. meatloaf.

Saltimbocca- jumps-into-your-mouth (because it's so irresistible).

Stracciatella- from straccio, rag. Little rag soup i.e. egg drop soup (the liquid eggs dropped in the boiling liquid look like rags).

Zuppa inglese- trifle (the dessert), English soup. Boh!