My Frustrations of Language with Food 

1. Pepperoni

In September 2005 I traveled to LA with my friends Josy and Rossy. Being all Italians, we decided to go try some American pizza. I ordered a pizza with Pepperoni, Sausage and hot salami. When the pizza arrived, I see the hot salami, the sausage but not the pepperoni. It took me 15 min of arguing with the waitress to understand what was happening here:

American "Pepperoni"

Italian: Pepperoni 

2. Wiener Schnitzel
Some days later we decide to go check out the fast food joint called Wienerschnitzel... Again, I was surprised to find out that it doesn't have anything to do with the original Wiener Schnitzel. 

Wienerschnitzel in America
 Wiener Schnietzel 
Wiener = from Vienna, Schnitzel = Breaded meat 
(Vienna's specialty is with Veal-meat)

3. Fettuccine Alfredo
 (Fettuccine = Tagliatelle)
Ever since my first time in the US, when I tell people that I was born in Italy, they almost automatically answer: "Fettuccini Alfredo uh!" The first time I heard that, I looked at the person with a hu?-face and asked: "What's that?" Dear American friends, you will not find these so called Fettuccine Alfredo as a dish in Italy. But for who may want to know it is simply the American version of the Roman style Fettuccine al Doppio Burro adding broccoli, cream, parsley, garlic, and chicken or shrimp. 

Italy: Fettuccine Al Doppio Burro

USA: Fettuccine Alfredo 
(named after Alfredo Di Lelio)

4. Chips 

Dear English, if you order Chips in the USA and probably the rest of the world, you will get a bag of Crisps.
Yup crisps are chips and chips in Great Britain are French Fries in North America.

Chips in England 

Chips in the USA and most parts of the world: 

5. Prosciutto
Prosciutto in Italian means: Ham
If you go to Italy and order Prosciutto, you will be asked: "crudo o cotto?" / "raw or cooked?"
What the American means is: "Prosciutto crudo di Parma", which translates: "Raw ham from Parma"...not only in my opinion the best "Prosciutto crudo" out there.

Italian: Prosciutto Cotto
Italian: Prosciutto crudo

6. Biscuits, Biscuits and Biscotti

The first time someone offered me biscuits for breakfast in America, I was looking forward to eating cookies and then got surprised with a type of leavened bread. The word "biscuit" derives from the French language that translated into American English means: "cookie". 

Biscuits in England

American Biscuits: 

Biscotti in America 

Biscotti in Italy is like saying biscuits in England; it simply means: Cookie
If you ever find these cookies in a US store, you must buy! My all time favorites are  "Pan Di Stelle", the cocoa ones with the stars on them. They are the best Italian creation for the sweet tooth next to Nutella, Tiramisu and Ferrero Roché.

Here something for you to try:

Baci Tiramisu (Recepe)

Origin: Perugina's Master Chocolatier & Pastry Chef Vivien Reimbelli

2 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 egg yolks
4 Perugina Baci, finely chopped
1/2 pound mascarpone cheese
10 ounces spongecake, or an equal amount of lady finger cookies
1 cup cold espresso (or very strong coffee)
Sliced strawberries and cocoa powder, to garnish


1. In a bowl whisk together the sugar and the eggs.  Add the chopped Baci and mascarpone. Mix well.  Refrigerate if not using immediately.
2. Cut the spongecake into 3 lateral slices; place 1 slice on a plate.  Wet the cake with 1/3 of the coffee and spread on 1/3 of the mascarpone cream. Repeat with the other layers.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. Before serving; sprinkle the surface with cocoa powder and decorate with slices of strawberries.  Makes 4 servings.


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