lunedì 16 giugno 2008

Ordering "Pepperoni" Pizza in Italy

Close your eyes. I mean it, really. Humor me for just a moment. Close your eyes, and visualize the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Italian food.

In the stereotypical American vision of Italian food, one might picture a big heaping plate of spaghetti. Or perhaps a mouth-watering slice of lasagna, or maybe pizza. Whatever you might visualize, it probably involves tomatoes, or maybe even more commonly, tomato sauce of some sort. It’s also likely to include pasta. Am I right?

While pasta is an integral part of the Italian cuisine, and tomatoes are certainly central to the Mediterranean diet, peperoni, or peppers, are often forgotten despite their large role in creating many of the wonderful flavors and aromas you experience when enjoying Italian cuisine.

For those Americans who have ever had the pleasure of visiting the country of Italy: Have you ever tried to order a pizza with “pepperoni”? What did you get on your pizza? Certainly not “pepperoni,” but “peperoni”! Peppers! In Italian, what Americans call “pepperoni” is referred to as Salami. The true meaning of the word “peperoni” was kind of lost in translation and it evolved into the American “pepperoni” that we now use to refer to the thinly sliced, dry sausage that is popular on our pizza.

If you travel to an area where there are typically a lot of American tourists, you may find some restaurants who will actually give you “pepperoni” on your pizza simply because this is a common mistake made by American tourists. Or, if you’re lucky, they may ask you for clarification. But if you order “pepperoni” pizza, don’t be surprised if your pizza comes out with some delicious red and yellow bell peppers!

Check back with us later this week for more information on peppers and their use in authentic Italian cooking! And keep checking here and at for the release of celebrity-chef Maria Liberati’s latest book, The Italian Kitchen!

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1 commento:

TechnoGeek ha detto...

So is it possible to order a "dry salami" pizza in Italy? Our best pepperoni is made in Italy. Simply ordering salami pizza in Napoli won't get me pepperoni.

Thanks, gj