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Mar 27, 2001 01:47 PM

What -is- Gabbagul (sp?)

  • j

Being a devout Sopranos fan I've noticed that the favored lunch meat of the "Big T" is something called "Gabbagul". I may be spelling it wrong.

Is this a type of ham like a cappicola or a prosciutto/speck, or is it a force meat or a type of cured sausage like salami? Or is it a sicilian word for something we know by a different name?

And where can I get some (Mikes deli on Arthur Ave?) and how do I ask for it without sounding stupid?

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  1. m
    Michele Cindy

    Gabbaghoul... I always knew it to be the NJ pronunciation of cappicola.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Michele Cindy

      Yeah, one of my co-workers just told me "perlow you putz, it -is- capricola"

      Gah-bri-goal or gabba-ghul, apparently are alternate pronunciations.... depending on what side of the pond you are on..

      1. re: Jason Perlow

        There's a place in Carroll Gardens where I live -- Bagels on the Park -- that lists on their menu of lunch meats "gabagol." I always wonder whether they're trying to be funny by listing it that way. I think probably not.

    2. I always thought it was cappicola with an accent.

      1. Gabbagul is the Sicilian-American pronunciation of capicola. Hard C's sound as G and P as B. The last syllable is often dropped. Another example is caponatta (eggplant, rattatouille-like mixture) pronounced gabbonade or gabbonadille. There are numerous examples of this in NY/Sicilian-American food parlance i.e. ricotta cheese pronounced arrigotte.

        PS, I think its more like Gabbagool

        Stefany "born in Bklyn" B.

        33 Replies
        1. re: Stefany B.

          I was recently laughed at (and not for the first time,either) by friends when I ordered calamari at a restaurant and pronounced it cal-a-ma-ree. They insisted it's pronounced cal-a-mar, with the "ee" at the end dropped. They also say manicotti is pronounced man-a-cot. I take it these also are examples of Sicilian-American pronunciation. Is such pronunciation common throughout the country or is this just a New York thing?

          1. re: Ira Kaplan

            Same in Boston (North End).

            1. re: Win (Boston)

              Your post was the bright spot in my day - brought back childhood memories of being in the kitchen with my Sicilian grandmother - she loved "gabbagul" on fresh bread for lunch. She also cooked "brizhol" (thinly sliced meat rolled and tied with a string - I don't think I ever knew the Americanized name, but they were delicious!)

              1. re: Kitty

                Bracciole - Brajol.
                Pignoli - Pingyole
                cappicola - gobbagool
                pasta fagioli - basta fazool
                calamari - galamar
                prosciutto - brazhoot
                mozzarella - MOOTS-a-RELL
                ricotta - rih-gawt
                manicotti - mani-gawt

                "Hey mama, I dont want no pingyole in my brajole"

                translated: Mother, I dont want any pine nuts in my rolled braised meat.

                "yo snapperhead, bring me a plate of fried galamar, with a bowl of basta fazool"

                translated: server, kindly bring me a plate of fried squid and a bowl of pasta and bean soup.

                "Hey Chief! I wanna italian sub with some gabbagool, brazhoot, and some fresh MOOTS-a-rel"

                translated: please prepare me a sandwich on semolina bread, with spiced italian ham, cured parma ham, and fresh buffalo milk cheese.

                "gimme a tin of some of that manni-gawt, and if the ri-gawt isnt friggin fresh, I'm gonna break your friggin legs"

                translated: I would like a container of your pasta tubes stuffed with goats milk cheese. And please be sure it is fresh or I will be bringing it back.

                1. re: Jason Perlow

                  My Sopranos question has to do with a pastry that they talked about a lot during the first season. It seemed to me that they were pronouncing it "shvreeahdell" (somethin like that). Anybody know what that is?

                  1. re: alleen

                    Its been on the hotposts for the last 3 or 4 days.

                    Sfogliatella = SHFOG-YA-DELL

                    And yes, its like a cookie fried pastry thing thats got powdered sugar on it.

                    1. re: Jason Perlow

                      Its szhvoy-a-dell. Otherwise the same as Jason described it(sfogliatella). There has been some very recent posts regarding this on "The best...".


                      1. re: Jason Perlow

                        I call it SHVIG-A-DELL

                        Great posts!

                      2. re: alleen

                        The Sopranos scripts (written by Italian-American Frank Renzulli) spell sfogliatella as "shfooyadell"... but Italian-American Paul Attanasio's script for "Donnie Brascoe" spelled it "sfogliatel'"... Your choice...

                        1. re: alleen

                          Sfogliatella = SHFOG-YA-DELL ... a flaky triangular shaped pastry with a sweet ricotta cheese filling and powdred sugar topping

                          1. re: Tony Clams

                            soooo good! I miss them since I left NY and moved to the land of "Northern/Italian-Americans" San Francisco

                        2. re: Jason Perlow

                          geez, you guuys sound awful when you do this stuff...

                          enuff of this, stop tryin to sound like mobsters and leave the pronunciation to real ayetalians.....

                          i cant stand to have the speech of my youth butchered like this...

                              1. re: Steve
                                Jason Perlow

                                Hey, thanks. That'll come in handy on my next vacation in Italy. :)

                              2. re: Jason Perlow
                                Melissa Garland

                                This is the funniest thing that I have ever read on Chowhound. Thanks for making me laugh!

                                1. re: Jason Perlow

                                  What about "bizza gain" or "bizza geen"?

                                  1. re: Jason Perlow

                                    How would I pronounce the italian pastry called, Pasticiotte?

                                    1. re: John

                                      Pasticiotte >>> phonetically >>> pahs-tee-chot-teh ... NY Italian/Sicilian pronunciation >>>> pasti-choy

                                    2. re: Jason Perlow

                                      How would I pronounce the italian pastry called, Pasticiotte?

                                      1. re: John

                                        Pasticiotte = pahs-tee-chot-teh. The "ch" as pronounced in chest. The "pas" as in pasta. Slight emphasis on the third syllable.

                                  2. re: Ira Kaplan

                                    I have a dear friend in St. Louis who is married to an Italian from Philly. She always pronounced calamari as "gallamar". I knew she must have heard it from her husband and wondered about it. It's the hard C with a G sound, and the last syllable dropped! Wow! pat

                                    1. re: Ira Kaplan

                                      I think it's pretty common across the country and reflects that most of the emigration to the US came from Southern Italy and Sicily(I have been told that the Neapolitan pronunciation is similar to the Sicilian). I have been laughed at innumerable times for not dropping the last vowel on Italian food.

                                      1. re: rjka

                                        rjka: you are exactly right. I am from Providence, where much of the very large Italian community traces its roots to the Naples area. Caserta Pizza, for example, is named for a suburb of Naples.

                                        Anyway, this brings back some great memories, like the butcher at the market I used to work at who wrote up a sign that said "bresuit." That's proscuitto!

                                        Also, not only do you often drop the last vowel, you sometimes put it at the front of the word. For example, a-rigawt' for ricotta, or a-beetz' for pizza.

                                      2. re: Ira Kaplan

                                        Growing up in a heavily Sicilian are of northern NJ, we learned to drop the final vowel so as not to sound like the misplaced Jews that we were: cheese was "rigut" (ricotta) or "muzzerel"; seafood was "galamar" or "scungeel"; ham was,yes, "gabbagol" or "brezoot"(prosciutto), and spaghetti sauce was, well, "gravy."

                                        Later in life, trying to impress Northern Italians with my "native" pronunciation, they informed me that they can't understand a word Sicilians say.

                                        1. re: Ira Kaplan
                                          Caitlin wheeler

                                          Well, this solves a long standing argument between me and my college roommate. She, who grew up with a Sicilian grandmother in Connecticut always corrected me by dropping the last syllable on prosciutto and mozzarella. I, who grew up in California (small Italian population)and gained all knowledge of Italian from studying opera, insisted on the perfect schoolbook pronunciation. We were both right, for who we were!

                                          1. re: Ira Kaplan

                                            in most of italy they pronounce all the letters. its a NY/NJ/ MAss italian pronunciation thing to drop it not an italian talian thing. (your take on whether sicilains are italians or not depends where in italy you are from)so is calling sauce gravy

                                          2. re: Stefany B.

                                            Stefany, Thanks ever for posting that info. Amazing how the African influence remains in Sicily. Many words in Arabic do the same: tomato is burtugal (from portogal). The town of Raccalmuto (where Sciascia was born) derives from the Arabic "place of the dead". The difference is that the older Italian-Americans from Sicily only spoke dialect whereas contemporary Sicilians speak standard Italian but can choose to use dialect when hanging out at home and with paesani.

                                            1. re: Allan Evans

                                              Right you are. Ther are lots of Arabic words in Sicilian dialect. But (I hate to do this)burtugal actually means orange. There are several different words for tomato depending on what dialect of Arabic one speaks but I am pretty sure that no one uses burutgal.

                                              1. re: Ari Ariel

                                                Thanks for the correction. Sicilian and southern dialects use cucuzz' for zucchini, which is kosa in Egyptian Arabic as is "rustu" for roast (Sicilians say 'arustutu' for roasted).

                                          3. s
                                            steve drucker

                                            Jeez. I thought you wanted to know "What is 'gabbagool'"?

                                            Gabbagool is cappicola, a rolled, slightly spiced with cayenne, ham--loaded with nitrates. Its greasy, unhealthy, disgusting to slice en masse, and delicious.

                                            I'm hoping for a swing thru Queens on the way in from Atlanta/LGA by way of the Corona Heights Pork Store to get me some soon.

                                            1. it is italian ham, you mamma-luc!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: joe g

                                                This reminds me of a funny story. I went to an italian deli once to try and buy some Bresaola (the stuff thats kinda like beef prosuttio). Whe I asked it it was avaliable the said sure and asked how many I wanted (not how much how many) and whether I wanted beef, pork,or chicken. After much confusion it turned out that what he had though I wanted was bracciole (the rolled up meat with the filling) apprantly where he came from the two were pronuced more or less the same! BTE he didn have what I actually wanted. The next deli owner did but was angry at me the next time I came in on the ground that he had had to open a new one for me, I had not bought a particualry large amount and he had had to trow the reast of the piece out later on since it happen that no one else asked for any of it in the following weeks.