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How do you pronounce 'bruschetta'?

LA Aug 23, 2004 09:20 PM


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    Andy P. Aug 23, 2004 09:44 PM

    Hey LA-san,

    According to the "Food Lover's Companion", it can be pronounced either "broo-SKEH-tah", or "broo-SHEH-tah".

    FWIW, I've always heard it, and pronounced it, as the former.


    14 Replies
    1. re: Andy P.
      schpsychman Aug 23, 2004 09:49 PM

      The the Food Lover's Companion does not know proper Italian.

      1. re: Andy P.
        Just Larry Aug 23, 2004 11:09 PM

        Mario Batali insists that it is Brew Ske Ta but I have also had quite a number of Italian born and raised people (wife teaches ESL) insist Brew Shet Ta. Is it possible that it is a regional thing? At Il Grano the waiters are so fresh off the boat that you can't understand a word they say. They all have told me (3 of them)Brew Shet Ta. There must not be an easy answer.

        1. re: Just Larry
          Jim H. Aug 23, 2004 11:19 PM

          What about New York Italians who say "ri-cah-ta"? How about all the foodies who don't know that to "caramelize" is to make a dark syrup, and "carmel" is a mountain near the Holy Land or a town on the California coast.

          1. re: Jim H.
            Sarah W-R Aug 24, 2004 08:01 AM

            I am trying to give up being angry on the "caramel"/"Carmel" confusion, but it is hard. Surely, surely, people in the food industry should know that to cook something until its sugars brown and begin to burn has nothing to do with a city in California, but I have heard many waiters as well as famous people on the Food Network say it, and it makes my skin crawl.

            1. re: Sarah W-R
              amused 'hound Aug 24, 2004 10:26 PM

              Have you considered anger management therapy?


            2. re: Jim H.
              Bunny-Bunny Aug 25, 2004 05:09 PM

              Oh, the one that really gets to me is the people who call mascarpone cheese mar-ska-pone. Can they not see the placement of the "r"?

              1. re: Bunny-Bunny
                Bob W. Aug 26, 2004 11:28 AM

                To be fair, you can't always go by the location of the letters.

                Brett Favre
                Chipotle peppers

                1. re: Bob W.
                  ricepad Aug 26, 2004 02:01 PM

                  I dunno 'bout the quarterback, but "chipotle" is pronounced exactly as it is spelled. Yeah, I know a lot of people say, "chipolte", but they're wrong. Lots of people say, "real-a-tor", too.

                  1. re: ricepad
                    scubadoo97 Nov 13, 2011 08:06 PM

                    Cracking me up ricepda

                    1. re: ricepad
                      ChefJune Mar 1, 2012 11:45 AM

                      They also say gover-ment and envire-ment..... Eek!

                      1. re: ricepad
                        Jay F Mar 2, 2012 02:37 PM

                        I know someone who calls it chi-PLO-tay.

                  2. re: Jim H.
                    rainey Nov 15, 2011 05:37 PM

                    That Central Cal town is car-MEL.

                  3. re: Just Larry
                    Tina12 Aug 24, 2004 10:27 AM

                    I've always been told that the northern Italians pronounce it Brew-shet-ta and the Italians from the south say Brew-sket-ta

                    1. re: Tina12
                      pikawicca Nov 11, 2011 08:13 PM

                      That's wrong. In Italy, all that you hear is with the "k" sound.

                2. s
                  schpsychman Aug 23, 2004 09:47 PM

                  In Italian, the "ch" is pronounced as a "K'. Thus it would be brew-skeh-tah, and don't let anyone tell you differently. On the other hand, "sc" by itself in Italian is the "sh" sound (thus pesce is peh-shay). If I hear brew-sheh-tah one more time I'm gonna scream!

                  38 Replies
                  1. re: schpsychman
                    Sthitch Aug 23, 2004 11:17 PM

                    I have the pleasure of having three woman in my life who are fluent in Italian, and all learned or refined the language in Florance (one of them being my wife) all of whom pronounce it brew-skeh-tah.
                    Another word of contention is Biscotti. My wife wants to strangle every person who pernounces it bis-COT-ee, instead of bis-coat-ee.

                    1. re: Sthitch
                      RWCFoodie (Karen) Aug 23, 2004 11:56 PM

                      My husband (American-born Italian) is the same! Every time he hears "bis-cot-tee" he just about jumps out of his skin, and he's a very easy-going guy! Why, oh why, can't these relatively simple-to-pronounce words get sooo mangled???

                    2. re: schpsychman
                      Cristina Aug 24, 2004 08:53 AM

                      I believe that it's the 'ce' and not the 'sc' that makes the pronunciation of *pesce* peh-shay. If I recall correctly, the 'c' followed by either 'e' or 'i' is always pronounced 'sh' in Italian.

                      Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want to create language stress in the world.

                      1. re: Cristina
                        Bacchante Aug 24, 2004 09:46 AM

                        You are correct. C before i or e is the English "ch" sound. C before a, o, or u is "k."

                        The emphasis is on the second syllable. You also actually pronounce both t's in that you hold the sound longer on the t. Hence, bruschetta is pronounced differently than would be bruscheta if it was a word. Same for the double t in biscotti.

                        If you really want to sound native, try to trill the r as in Spanish and Japanese.

                        And, in response to some of the other posters about mangling of the Italian language, my pet peeve is the standard usage in the U.S. of "latte" for a caffelatte. Order latte in Italy, and you will get a glass of milk. Even if you do pronounce the double t correctly.

                        1. re: Bacchante
                          Karl S. Aug 24, 2004 01:00 PM

                          And order a latte after morning, you will really get strange looks..

                          1. re: Karl S.
                            Bacchante Aug 24, 2004 03:22 PM

                            Ha! That's for sure!!

                            Reminds me of the time I was waiting in line at a coffee bar (not McBucks)in the Northwest terminal of the old National Airport in D.C. The woman in front of me was giving the poor girl behind the bar such grief about how badly she was making her "latte." And actually, she appeared to be doing just fine. As the woman paid and stalked off, she said to the girl, "I'm from Seattle, and I know how a latte should be made." Did that mean she milks her own cow each morning? I always hoped she would find herself in Rome and order a "latte" at, for example, the bar at Sant'Eustachio--or "sant yustacheeo" to her.

                        2. re: Cristina
                          schpsychman Aug 24, 2004 02:24 PM

                          The sc makes the sh sound in Italian, as proscuitto is pro-shoo-to.

                          1. re: schpsychman
                            Bacchante Aug 24, 2004 03:05 PM

                            actually, the word is spelled "prosciutto" not "proscuitto," and it is the ci that makes the sound soft instead of hard. The s makes it "sh" instead of "ch"

                            "Proscuitto" would be pronounced "proskweetto."

                        3. re: schpsychman
                          mrbarolo Aug 24, 2004 10:51 AM

                          Oh, man, I'm with you there. I can't count the times I have sat there, eyeball to eyeball with a waiter offering me "brushetta" and saying, yes, I'd love the "brusketta" - and then getting one of these tight, condescending smiles back that screams "you rube" when he arrives and announces the "brushetta" back at me.

                          Not the waitperson's fault probably. That's what the kitchen told them it was, no doubt. But this is a world where you get offered "our special cajun pesto Alfredo sauce" so what can one expect.

                          There isn't even a consensus on whether mushrooms are "portobello," "portabella," or, split the differnece, "portabello."

                          My head hurts. Time for a cafe latte and a biscotto.

                          1. re: mrbarolo
                            danna Aug 24, 2004 11:49 AM

                            My head hurts too, AND I'm paranoid now. I'm going to have to start pointing at food items I want lest I grate someone's nerves severely.

                            1. re: danna
                              adamclyde Aug 25, 2004 11:35 AM

                              seriously... didn't know people had to pronounce things immaculately perfect to avoid the ire of some folks. I'd hate to go to a vietnamese place and have to order long bo pha lau. Or even Pho... Heaven forbid I get the tone a little off... heresy!

                              1. re: adamclyde
                                mrbarolo Aug 26, 2004 04:55 PM

                                Not speaking for other posters, and not reviewing all the posts up to now, I can only say that that's not the issue for me. The issue for me is staff at restaurants - people who represent the restaurant, and its food - who not only mispronounce the dishes they sell, but smugly correct people who can pronounce them. For me this extends (or actually is preceded by) restaurant menus that mis-identify dishes, misspell the names and ingredients, or randomly throw around Fench, Italian etc. cooking terms and names with no apparent understanding of what they actually mean.

                                I don't sneer at a 24-hour diner whose menu offers a "Julianne" salad, or beef "with au jus." But I'd think twice about a pricey French restaurant that did that.

                                I don't mock a 22 year old bartender at a college hangout for not pronouncing a "Wehlener Sonnenuhr" correctly, but I do expect a sommelier to be able to read a wine label.

                                It's a matter of context.

                                "Bruschetta" is far more common a term than something plucked from the heart of a Vietnamese menu. Itlian is a romance language, not an Asian one. It's just not that hard to get right. Especially if pronouncing it is actually part of how you earn your living.

                                But, these things are subject to all sorts of odd variations. There was a thread on the Manhattan board, I believe, on the "correct" pronunciation of "Les Halles." The debate raged on. I asked a French friend and she said that one version was more old fashioned than the other. Though carrying over the "z" sound from "Les" into "Halles" was more orthodox, both might be heard in France. (Lay-ahl, or Layzahl)

                                So everyone who weighed in emphatically on one side or the other was, at best half right.

                                Now, how do you feel about hearing an "x" in "espresso?"

                                1. re: mrbarolo
                                  Jerome Aug 31, 2004 05:56 PM

                                  ok you brought it up. not everyone even knows their (sic) own language perfectly...

                                  there are two kinds of words in French that begin with an aitch (or hache if we're being way-French). One class takes a liason and one doesn't. For example, hirondelle, a swallow, and hibou, an owl. It's l'hirondelle and le hibou. So Les hirondelles would take the liason (Layzeerrhondell) and Les hiboux (Lay eeboo). If your French friend disagrees with this, I apologize.

                                  Then again see how many are adamant about the objective case for pronouns after the word "like."

                                  1. re: mrbarolo
                                    LorrieB Nov 12, 2011 05:45 AM

                                    Thank you, mrbarolo. You hit the nail on the head perfectly. It is exactly that--the wait staff not getting it right (in high end restaurants) and then correcting the customer who has it right. And UGH, "expresso" makes me crazy too. LOL

                                    1. re: LorrieB
                                      RandyB Dec 6, 2011 11:57 PM

                                      Guess you shouldn't visit France, LorrieB. Here we spell it eXpresso.

                                      1. re: RandyB
                                        Harters Dec 7, 2011 02:40 AM

                                        It always used to be eXpresso in the UK - probably till about the late 1960s when most of us had started to travel overseas for holidays and found out the correct way of pronouncing it. I still occasionally catch myself saying it that way.

                                        1. re: RandyB
                                          rainey Dec 8, 2011 12:41 PM

                                          That's funny 'cause I say eSpresso but my fingers type eXpresso.

                                          1. re: rainey
                                            paulj Dec 8, 2011 01:13 PM

                                            Why not? Your fingers are returning to their Latin roots. :)

                                2. re: mrbarolo
                                  LorrieB Nov 11, 2011 07:38 PM

                                  I was in Naples, FL this week and ordered "brew-skett-a" - Once I am told how to pronounce something, I don't forget. Of course the waitress corrected me saying "oh, ok-brew-shetta' and this time I thought, no, enough, YOU will learn how to speak Italian, my little friend. I thought it was rude anyway to correct a customer, so I said to her "actually, it is pronounced 'brew-skett-a' and she was accepting. Now if we could only have schools teach children when to use "I" and when to use "me" properly.

                                  1. re: LorrieB
                                    Jay F Nov 12, 2011 07:05 AM

                                    I pronounce it brew-SKET-ta, I have a friend who combines the two and calls it brew-SHKET-ta.

                                3. re: schpsychman
                                  AlanH™ Aug 24, 2004 01:47 PM

                                  of course if you're saying it here, you'd use the Anglicized version, the Italian pronunciation is irrelevant. That is, of course, unless you're in the habit of pronouncing the names of all foreign cities and foods in their native tongues and not English.

                                  1. re: AlanH™
                                    Karl S. Aug 24, 2004 02:17 PM

                                    The problem being that there is no established Anglicized pronunciation.

                                    1. re: Karl S.
                                      AlanH™ Aug 24, 2004 03:39 PM

                                      Then people whouldn't get so upset that it's being pronounced "wrong".

                                      1. re: AlanH™
                                        mrbarolo Aug 24, 2004 04:12 PM

                                        I don't say "Par-ee" because "Par-iss" is well established as that cities name in English. But,
                                        there's no standard "american" pronunciation of spaghetti. That's no reason to call it "spa-jet-ee."

                                        That would be wrong. Especially in an Italian restaurant, where, one would assume, they aspire to present food as it is made and pronounced in its country of origin.

                                        1. re: mrbarolo
                                          AlanH™ Aug 25, 2004 07:58 AM

                                          So you never say beef, chicken, fish, cheese, etc in an Italian restaurant? You always use the Italian word?

                                          1. re: AlanH™
                                            mrbarolo Aug 26, 2004 05:03 PM

                                            I follow the restaurant's lead. If the menu offers, "bistecca fiorentina" that's what I order. I don't ask for "Florentine Steak," though the english words exist. Ditto "fritto misto" - I don't order the "mixed fry."

                                            But I've started to lose the thread (as it were). I thought it was just a general annoyance at mispronunciation of fairly common, though still foreign words. Especially by people whose business involves using those foreign words.

                                        2. re: AlanH™
                                          maria lorraine Dec 13, 2011 10:27 PM

                                          >Then people whouldn't get so upset that it's being pronounced "wrong".

                                          Uh, no.

                                          Think of all the slang words you know for women's genitalia. Sprinkle in some
                                          of the foreign words, too. Now, add "bruSHETTA."
                                          Really, it means the same as the v-word, the p-word and the c-word.

                                          That's why anyone saying bruSHETTA is being ignorant or vulgar or unintentionally comical.

                                          I've seen Italians die of laughter when someone orders bruSHETTA. And nothing tops when Kimberly Clark, who manufactures feminine hygiene products, sponsored a series of food infomercials on how to make pesto, infused oils and bruSHETTA.
                                          KC filmed the bruSHETTA infomercial talking time and time again about female genitalia, put the infomercial on the air, and not once did anyone at KC check the proper pronunciation. Some of us in the food biz were having a good chuckle over this and decided to let Kimberly Clark know that their pronunciation was, shall we say, ironic given their product line. The reaction from the KC executives: Sheer. Stunned. Mortification.

                                          The mispronunciation has become so widespread that my friends and I tell people, "Don't say you're having bruSHETTA for dinner unless you really are..."

                                          1. re: maria lorraine
                                            RandyB Dec 14, 2011 02:35 AM

                                            Ask Google Translate to pronounce bruschetta. In French, Google pronounces it SH. In Italian it says SK.

                                            The English pronunciation from Google is almost impossible to explain. Maybe BRAHSS-chet-TAH.

                                            1. re: maria lorraine
                                              DeppityDawg Dec 14, 2011 03:20 AM

                                              The Italian slang word you are skirting around is "brioscia", which usually just means "brioche". I suppose you could extend this to "brioscetta" and I suppose if you come across an English speaker who is obviously talking about bruschetta, but pronounces the word with an SH sound, you can decide to hear "brioscetta" (even though "bruschetta" with an SH sound still sounds different from "brioscetta"), decide to pick the vulgar meaning instead of the much more common food-related meaning, and die of laughter.

                                              It helps if you're 11 years old.

                                              1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                maria lorraine Dec 14, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                The etymology of the slang word pronounced "brushetta" is bruscia.

                                                1. re: maria lorraine
                                                  DeppityDawg Dec 14, 2011 06:10 PM

                                                  And? How commonly recognized is this word, and how uncooperative do you have to be to decide that someone is saying this word instead of "bruschetta"? If a non-native English speaker says to you "I need to buy some new shits for the bed" instead of "sheets", do you die of laughter and humiliate them into sheer. stunned. mortification., and then post the story on the Internet?

                                                  1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                    maria lorraine Dec 14, 2011 06:15 PM

                                                    You've mischaracterized things, DD.

                                                    1. re: maria lorraine
                                                      DeppityDawg Dec 14, 2011 06:40 PM

                                                      You asserted that some word that sounds like "brushetta" is a vulgar Italian word on a par with the "c"-word. This is a mischaracterization. All English speakers recognize the "c"-word as pretty much the most forceful curse word in the language. None of the Italians I have consulted (from several different regions of Italy) have any idea what word you might be referring to, and their reaction to "brushetta" is simply, "Oh, apparently a lot of English speakers don't know the normal Italian pronunciation of this word."

                                                      I'm not saying that "bruSHetta" is the right pronunciation. (I'm not saying it's wrong either, _in English_.) And I obviously agree that if you don't pronounce a borrowed word in the same way as in the original language, then you risk saying another word that means something totally different in that language. But as a general rule, this doesn't have to be a problem in the borrowing language unless people want it to be a problem. And in this particular case, it doesn't even seem to be a problem in the original language, since most Italians don't associate "bruSHetta" with any meaning.

                                                      1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                        maria lorraine Dec 14, 2011 09:42 PM

                                                        Sorry, I don't agree. During the great deal of time I've spent in Italy and with Italian culinarians where I live in the US, I have witnessed Italians firmly and forcefully correcting
                                                        those saying "brushetta." There is no doubt they consider it rude. I know you may want to argue further about this, but not me.....

                                                        1. re: maria lorraine
                                                          DeppityDawg Dec 15, 2011 01:51 AM

                                                          There's nothing to argue about, if you've now backed down to saying simply that Italians consider "bruSHetta" to be incorrect. That was established in the first few messages of this thread over 7 years ago. If you have sources to back up what you first said about the meaning of "bruscia"/"bruscetta", I would be interested in learning about them, and it would be a useful contribution to this thread.

                                                2. re: DeppityDawg
                                                  maria lorraine Dec 14, 2011 06:18 PM

                                                  We do not laugh in titillation or at someone, and never laugh at a foreigner's pronunciation of anything. Context, again.

                                                3. re: maria lorraine
                                                  DeppityDawg Dec 14, 2011 07:49 AM

                                                  On second thought, you are probably thinking of "buscedda", a dialectal word that is not widely known or widely used, and again, only approximately sounds like "bruschetta" with an SH sound. And before thinking of genitalia, most Italians would probably think of this man:

                                          2. re: schpsychman
                                            Jeremy Newel Aug 25, 2004 08:34 PM

                                            You are absolutely right. I checked with an Italian forum and was assured that there is no difference in the pronunciation between the north and the south on this word. Brew-sket-tah it is, and delicious, too!

                                          3. s
                                            Sir Gawain Aug 24, 2004 02:02 PM

                                            I have asked this very question an italian acquaintance of mine and he said, ultra clearly:


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Sir Gawain
                                              LorrieB Nov 12, 2011 05:40 AM

                                              Maybe he has a speech impediment then.

                                            2. n
                                              Napkin Aug 24, 2004 02:18 PM

                                              While we are at it, can Easterners explain why my father-in-law (Italian-American from upstate NY) cuts off the final i and o on many words? Prosciutt for proscuitto, manicott, spaghett, the list goes on. I heard a woman from New Jersey asking for prosciutt once too.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: Napkin
                                                Ellen Aug 24, 2004 02:40 PM

                                                My Mom is not Italian and from Brooklyn and talks the same way. Does he say ragutta or ragut? Brajool or brajole?

                                                1. re: Ellen
                                                  Napkin Aug 24, 2004 02:47 PM

                                                  I'm not sure - will have to try to get him to say those next time I talk to him! It is definitely ricott and any kind of pasta can be called macaroni (make that macaron).

                                                  1. re: Ellen
                                                    schpsychman Aug 24, 2004 02:49 PM

                                                    These are also ways that my relatives in South Philly pronounce words as well. I think they are Italian-American pronounciations, espcially in the Northeast. I also get a real kick out of how some Italian Americans pronounce their names. For example: Bataglia said as Ba-tag-li-uh instead of Ba-tal-ya (silent g); and my personal all time favorite: Lucado (Lu-cah-doe) pronounced as luck-a-doo!

                                                    1. re: schpsychman
                                                      Kirk Aug 24, 2004 05:58 PM

                                                      In his book "The American Language," H.L. Mencken pointed to people named Tagliaferro who (as far back as the 1920s when he wrote the book) pronounced their name "Toliver."

                                                      Some of my mother's relatives have changed the spelling of their last name from the original Grandchamp to "Granshaw," which is actually closer to the way it is pronounced in French than "Grand Champ."

                                                      It would be quite funny, though, if all of us started using the German pronunciation of "hamburger" and "frankfurter," don't you think?

                                                      1. re: Kirk
                                                        Karl S. Aug 24, 2004 06:01 PM

                                                        Indeed, the Talioferros are an old FFV (First Family of Virginia), and Toliver is their customary pronunciation from way back.

                                                  2. re: Napkin
                                                    Karl S. Aug 24, 2004 05:59 PM

                                                    Those pronunciations are canonical in the NY-Philly area, and are influenced by the dominance of folks from regions of Sicily and the Mezzogiorno where final vowels are optional in spoken dialect, as it were.

                                                    In many parts of NY, if you ask for manna-COTT-ee, you will get strange looks; ask for mahn-na-GUT (or pruh-ZHU(H)T, they understand.....

                                                    1. re: Karl S.
                                                      mirage Aug 24, 2004 07:06 PM

                                                      I grew up in an Italian neighborhood in a suburb of Boston (Nonantum)and it's only as an adult that I've heard any but the dropped-end-vowel pronunciation of those words. I'm not Italian but I was always very sure of the "correct" pronunciation - until recently!!

                                                    2. re: Napkin
                                                      lisaonthecape Dec 8, 2011 06:18 PM

                                                      That's just dialect (at best) or American-descended-from-southern-Italy slang. Possibly, you might hear that variant in Calabria, Napoli or thereabouts, but never north of Rome.

                                                    3. n
                                                      nancyc213 Aug 24, 2004 03:28 PM

                                                      everyone pretty much has it so far, but to clear up (or add to) the confusion:

                                                      It is the h in bruschetta that makes the "k" sound. A poster correctly explained that the "ce" combination is a soft sound--like cello. Without the h, it would be bru-shet-ta, with the h, bru-sket-ta. The h in spaghetti serves the same purpose--no h would leave a soft g like a j in french (je, jeudi) or like zsa-zsa.

                                                      However, that pronunciation rule is for standard italian. LIke most languages, Italian is spoken differently in different regions; likely, bru-shetta is common in some regions.

                                                      1. t
                                                        Tom from Durham Aug 26, 2004 10:47 PM

                                                        To hell with it! Just order "fettunta" instead. :-D

                                                        1. j
                                                          Jerome Aug 31, 2004 06:11 PM

                                                          Can o' worms.

                                                          1. Bruschetta is a diminutive form of the feminine form of brusco, acdg to the garzatilinguistica.it - brusco means sharp, rough, as in brusque.
                                                          So brusca. When a word ending in a hard c (a k sound) is put into a diminutive form, the Italians usually keep the sound. So Francesco (francis) -> Franceschino (fran-tchehs-kee-noh) etc. So Bruschetta is broo-skeht-ta (double the t sound).

                                                          2. the "o" in biscotti. There are dialectical differences on the o before a double letter. The word for dress, gonna, or lady, donna. In Tuscany, you will hear an open o sound, gon-na, don-na, in Rome and south you will hear a long o sound as in gohn-nah, dohn-na. This is regional like the o in orange in the US. The guy who had a fit over bis-cot-ti might have been upset over a single biscotto being ordered as one biscotti. Or he was sure that a short or open o was wrong. Depends where one is...

                                                          3. on the Sh for Brewshqetta. There is a Neapolitanism of turning the s before a hard c (k sound) a p or a t into an sh. So Shquola for scuola, ashpeht(ta) for aspetta. My guess is that the person who replied brewshqett(a) is from campania, puglia or nearby regions.

                                                          But brusheta just doesn't make sense. No one pronounces brusco "broo-sho".

                                                          1. mbfant Nov 12, 2011 08:44 AM

                                                            Broo-sket-ta. There is no other conceivable pronunciation in standard Italian. Certain dialects might make a shk sound, but never just sh.

                                                            C and G are hard except before E and I, when they are pronounced like the ch in church. To maintain the hard C and G sound, an H is inserted. Think of zucchini and Chianti.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: mbfant
                                                              bob96 Nov 14, 2011 06:58 PM

                                                              Absolutely there may well be regional variants (instead of "sket" maybe a "skiet" in small town Calabria or Campania, say), but in almost all cases the national standard as Maureen notes will be maintained.

                                                            2. Bill Hunt Nov 12, 2011 08:46 PM

                                                              Well, if one were to depend on our charming Roman server, at Imāgo, at the Hotel Hassler, overlooking the Spanish Steps, it would be "brew (or broo) ske-e-e ta, but then he WAS flirting with my lovely wife, so seemed to draw out the second syllable for an inordinate time?


                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                LorrieB Nov 13, 2011 05:51 AM

                                                                He sounds like he was an idiot in more ways than one, then. That's a brand new one for me, with a double "ee" like that. I know there are important things going on in the world for us to obsess over pronunciation, but I agree with others who say the servers should learn these things before they get out there particularly in the better restaurants. Next point will be the mispronunciation of Francaise as in "Veal fron-SAY" - and not FRON-CHEZ. Can't wait to hear these stories.

                                                                1. re: LorrieB
                                                                  pikawicca Nov 13, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                                  Neither "fron-SAY" nor "FRON-CHEZ" is correct. It's "fron-SEZ"

                                                                  1. re: pikawicca
                                                                    LorrieB Nov 13, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                                    The French, I believe, do not pronounce the "n" hard - more like Froh-say, I think. But I've misspelled it above--it should be Francais for "Froh-say" if I'm correct. If it is spelled FrancaisE then isn't it Frahn-SEZ (without emphasizing the 'n?')

                                                                    1. re: LorrieB
                                                                      pikawicca Nov 13, 2011 03:46 PM

                                                                      You didn't misspell it -- it's "Francaise." The "a" is a nasal sound, definitely not "ah." The "n" is pronounced, barely. (But if you're saying this word in an American restaurant, it probably doesn't matter how you pronounce it.)

                                                                      1. re: pikawicca
                                                                        LorrieB Nov 13, 2011 04:02 PM

                                                                        We're talking the difference between Francais and Francaise. The restaurant dish has the 'e' at the end and the two are pronounced differently. This website lets you listen to both pronunciations.


                                                                        1. re: LorrieB
                                                                          pikawicca Nov 13, 2011 04:35 PM


                                                                  2. re: LorrieB
                                                                    Bill Hunt Nov 13, 2011 07:58 PM

                                                                    Well, it was a very drawn out syllable, and with the hyphens should not be seen as a ee vowel combo.


                                                                2. f
                                                                  freia Nov 13, 2011 07:45 AM

                                                                  Bruh (roll the r slightly) -SKETT-ta....
                                                                  Ch in italian is a "k" sound, like Chianti. You wouldn't say SHeeanti...you say "Keyanti".
                                                                  Double consonants mean a slightly longer drawn out letter.
                                                                  Keyanti (Chianti)
                                                                  Bruh..SKETTT-ta (double ts drawn out a bit)
                                                                  Zuh - KEYYYnnnn-ee (double c is drawn out just a bit, double n is drawn out just a bit)
                                                                  Don't forget about the regional accents, that can affect the U sound slightly, as in "uh" vs "oooh", should be kind of half way in-between, soft, if that makes sense.
                                                                  That's what I learned when I studied Italian in Florence for 6 months (got to a functional level WOOT!)

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: freia
                                                                    mbfant Nov 13, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                                    I'll have to take exception to your pronunciation AND your spelling of zucchini, which is also found as zucchine in Italian. In Rome, where I live, it's always zucchine and pronounced dzoo-kee-nay.

                                                                    Double consonants are the single most difficult oral-aural feature of the language for foreigners. Close behind are Ts and Ps, which we make too dental and explosive, respectively (I learned this the hard way singing in an Italian choir -- just takes one careless anglophone on a Gloria Patri to ruin the whole show) and certain a and o sounds. We tend to overcorrect our natural tendency to say, for example, bis-cah-ti or ri-sah-to and make them into bis-coh-ti and ri-soh-to. The correct vowel is closer to the a in law, plus there are the double consonants to reckon with.

                                                                    1. re: mbfant
                                                                      freia Nov 13, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                                      I guess you can tell that to my second language school (state certified, with international students because the training was internationally certified)! And I was spelling zucchini the English way.. The Italian I was immersed in, taught by certified Italian teachers in Italy, teaching the "state Italian" pronunciation emphasized the pronunciation in this way. And as I mentioned in my post, you can get a ton of different pronunciations depending on the region in which you live. Speaking Italian in Rome sounds different from hearing Italian spoken by a Sicilian or Italian spoken in Genoa. In fact, Italian spoken by a Florentine sounds different from Italian spoken in Prato -- its very subtle but it can be distinguished. Modern Italian, if I recollect correctly, is derived from the Florentine "version" of Italian, which is what I was taught. So it isn't wrong, it is in fact the "textbook" way to pronounce something. Kind of like Received English pronunciation vs Cockney pronunciation. So you can take issue with it if you like, but you are most attuned to a Roman inflection, which isn't wrong.
                                                                      To get a real handle on the double consonant thing, just try saying prezzemolo to a Florentine. They pretty much know your grip on the language in the way you handle the double consonants...

                                                                      1. re: freia
                                                                        mbfant Nov 13, 2011 10:03 AM

                                                                        Zucchini, zucchine -- one n and the z has a "dz" sound.

                                                                        1. re: mbfant
                                                                          freia Nov 13, 2011 10:05 AM


                                                                          1. re: freia
                                                                            DeppityDawg Nov 14, 2011 09:53 AM

                                                                            Is that a state-certified "meh" or an internationally certified "meh"?

                                                                  2. junescook Nov 13, 2011 09:48 AM

                                                                    It is the "h" following either a c or a g that makes them to be pronounced hard. You don't hear anyone pronouncing it spajetti. Likewise bruschetta is to be pronounced broo-skeh-ta.

                                                                    1. f
                                                                      freia Nov 15, 2011 04:56 PM

                                                                      OK as an aside, watching the Biggest Loser and here's a quote, and I mean quote, written as I heard it:

                                                                      Host asks: which cheese has the least calories?
                                                                      Contestant: "My first thought was I knew it wasn't CHEDDAH, and I knew it wasn't Swiss. But dadgone-it, I didn't know if it was PROVOLONEEEE or MOTSERELLEEEEE"

                                                                      Sorry but Can't. Stop. Laughing. Especially since I've been following this thread from the start...LOLOLOL

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: freia
                                                                        LorrieB Nov 15, 2011 05:18 PM

                                                                        Can't decide which of those make me laugh most. I'm going with "cheddah." No ... wait...motserelleee moves into first place.

                                                                        1. re: LorrieB
                                                                          mbfant Nov 15, 2011 09:55 PM

                                                                          Nothing wrong with cheddah in Brooklyn, Boston, and most of its country of origin. What's driving me crazy lately is the truncation of mozzarella to "mozz" (pronounced mahtz). The first time I heard it, from a waiter in a high-end place in New York, I practically didn’t know what he was talking about.

                                                                        2. re: freia
                                                                          sandylc Nov 16, 2011 07:38 PM

                                                                          Actually, provolone is hideously mispronounced in this country, along with mascarpone. The last syllable of both is pronounced "-ay".

                                                                          1. re: sandylc
                                                                            paulj Nov 16, 2011 07:59 PM

                                                                            Then why isn't it spelled correctly? English spelling is bad enough without all these recent foreign borrowings. Which is more important:
                                                                            - pronunciation that matches the Italian
                                                                            - spelling that matches the Italian
                                                                            - bragging rights for those who can make both match Italian? :)

                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                              mbfant Nov 17, 2011 12:12 AM

                                                                              The problem of provolone is somewhat different from the problem of mascarpone, which has two problems, the first being the mysteriously wandering R, which impels people to say "marsca" instead of "mascar" (mnemonic: rhymes with NASCAR). For the dropped E of both words, the origin of the pronunciation is Italian-American dialect based on an Italian dialect that already drops final syllables. Standard Italian is way easier to spell and pronounce reasonably correctly than English -- just a few rules, virtually no exceptions except for maybe foreign imports -- so spelling and pronunciation always match. As for bragging rights, as a fluent speaker of Italian AND an editor-translator-writer, è più forte di me. I don't brag, I just correct. Without pity. 8-)

                                                                              1. re: mbfant
                                                                                LorrieB Nov 17, 2011 06:44 AM


                                                                                1. re: LorrieB
                                                                                  bob96 Nov 28, 2011 10:48 AM

                                                                                  Bravissimo bis! The dropped final syllable is an Italian American legacy from the Neapolitan, where endings are often swallowed, not without some drama of course. So much of Italian American culture--food, speech, song, other reference points-are in fact Neapolitan in origin, or by influence.

                                                                        3. p
                                                                          pamsanclemente Nov 24, 2011 06:57 PM

                                                                          I have ONLY heard it pronounced broo-SHEH-ta.

                                                                          1. w
                                                                            wyogal Nov 24, 2011 07:40 PM

                                                                            I say, bru-sketta.
                                                                            and I also say "catsup." on purpose, especially at fast food joints.

                                                                            1. chefathome Dec 1, 2011 07:01 PM

                                                                              Every time I have had it in Italy the servers have always pronounced it "broo-SKEH-ta".

                                                                              50 Replies
                                                                              1. re: chefathome
                                                                                GH1618 Dec 1, 2011 07:21 PM

                                                                                That's correct. Have it with a glass of Chianti.

                                                                                1. re: GH1618
                                                                                  LorrieB Dec 2, 2011 05:17 AM

                                                                                  Further proof that in Italian the "ch" is pronounced like "k." My mother was born in a little town called "Chieti" in the Abruzzi region. It is pronounced "kee-et-ee.'' I think because it is spelled bruschetta, the "sch" makes people want to say "shhh." But bruschetta is definitely pronounced as chefathome says above.

                                                                                  1. re: LorrieB
                                                                                    JReichert Dec 2, 2011 07:24 AM

                                                                                    Yup. A lot of the Romance languages are like that.

                                                                                    I is "ee"
                                                                                    A is "ah"
                                                                                    E is "eh", though sometimes 'harder' as "ay"
                                                                                    O is "oh"
                                                                                    U is "oo"

                                                                                    Then you have stuff like 'gli' = "yee", 'ch' = "k", etc.

                                                                                    But it makes learning Italian easy, because those rules don't change from word to word.

                                                                                    Bruschetta is indeed broo-skeh-tah.

                                                                                    1. re: JReichert
                                                                                      mbfant Dec 3, 2011 07:26 AM

                                                                                      To me the question is not how the word is pronounced -- the rules of Italian pronunciation are quite straightforward -- but why people insist on mispronouncing a word that entered the US only a relatively few years ago. What I mean is this: Many Italian-American foods are mispronounced according the the criteria of standard Italian, whether we're talking about gabbagool (sp?) for capocollo, pastafazool for pasta e fagioli, or just strom-BO-li for STROMboli. But these words have a long tradition, in most cases rooted in an Italian dialect, and their own identity in Italian-American cuisine and I'm not going to start pestering people for calling ricotta rigot (sp?) until they come to Rome and apply that pronunciation to ricotta romana made yesterday in the Campagna romana. But bruschetta arrived straight from Italy practically yesterday and was immediately subjected to Americanized pronunciation. OK, I suppose I am answering my own question: the urge to Americanize outweighs the wish (if it exists) to respect the original pronunciation. No use asking why, I suppose. So let me vent about another, somewhat related, phenomenon: why change the name of broccolo romanesco, which most people have still never even seen much less become familiar with, to simply "romanesco" everywhere but in Italy? In Italy the word romanesco (and its declination) is recognized as an adjective needed for, among other things, the zucchini and artichokes of Rome and the dialect of the poet Belli. Did some international vegetable politburo decide people would never be able to keep broccoli and broccolo straight?

                                                                                      1. re: mbfant
                                                                                        hsk Dec 3, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                                                        The mispronunciation doesn't bug me as much as the misusage to refer to diced herbed tomatoes (without bread).

                                                                                        1. re: hsk
                                                                                          paulj Dec 3, 2011 08:51 AM

                                                                                          The answer to both of your questions - many Americans (myself included) were first introduced to the written form on containers of the Italian style salsa. I was not aware of the Italian pronunciation (and meaning) until I encountered threads like this.

                                                                                          There are lots of Americans who have never traveled to Rome, who have not eaten at restaurants with Italian speaking waiters, or studied Italian in college. The closest they might come to correct pronunciation of words like this will be Food Network, which can be hit or miss. Even if they hear the correct use, they might not connect it with the written word that they are used to.

                                                                                          The simplest antidote to being bugged by this misuse is to imagine what you would do it you weren't as well traveled, educated, or heeled, or simply just not as interested in food and language.

                                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                                            mbfant Dec 3, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                                                            Ah, the jars of "bruschetta" are the source of the trouble! That explains a lot. In any case, my beef, if you will, is not with innocent people who just repeat what they hear (though many are far better-heeled than I!) but with the great wrong-name conspiracy that gets these things started in the first place. Romanesco for broccolo? Somebody decided that should be the name, and chefs and vendors all over the non-Italian-speaking world, ie every place but Italy, went along. As for the Food Channel, which I never see, they should check. And cows should fly.

                                                                                            1. re: mbfant
                                                                                              paulj Dec 3, 2011 04:13 PM

                                                                                              I don't know Italian, but isn't 'broccolo' the singular form, and 'broccoli' plural? If so, how does that distinguish between two varieties? Is it because one forms a single cauliflower-like head, and the other multiple heads?

                                                                                              At least in English 'Romanesco Broccoli' is more common than 'Romanesco Broccolo' - try a Google search for example. When English speakers use just 'romanesco' they are just latching on to the more distinctive part of the name, without any awareness that it is actually an adjective meaning 'roman'. I rather like the name Fractal Broccoli.

                                                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                                                bob96 Dec 3, 2011 11:07 PM

                                                                                                Funny, but the few times I've seen broccolo romanesco in NY, it's been labelled as "broccoflower", which I guess kind of avoids the question by creating an entirely new name. Maureen is absolutely right about those words that have gone through generations of Italian-American dialect polishing, and I think PaulJ's point about how he first encountered "bruschetta" as a word to be read is , well, telling: if you don't hear it spoken properly, it can be anything, almost. I also suspect that American advertisers think they have to domesticate everything "foreign" by tweaking it enough so their announcers don't gasp, sound too pretentious. Just folks here. Still wondering about "au jus" becoming a one word noun, something brown, salty, and beefy. And hearing broccoli di rape reduced to "raab". I say it's broccoli di rape, and I say give me more.

                                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                                  mbfant Dec 3, 2011 11:54 PM

                                                                                                  I like Fractal Broccoli too, but this is the first time I've seen it. Broccoli is the plural of broccolo, but it's not that simple. What we call broccoli (pron brahkli) is, in my Roman market, called "broccoli siciliani." It is plural presumably because you have to buy a lot of them to make your dinner and their florets are separated. Broccolo is one big head treated as a unit -- until you get it home and take the florets apart, when it becomes plural, as in pasta con i broccoli. Italians can be very loose with the brassica terminology -- they'll call practically anything a cabbage (cavolo) -- but they do not hijack useful adjectives (like romanesco) to use as nouns, thus rendering them useless for other needs. "Romanesco broccoli" is new to me (thank you -- I did Google it); it is not Italian -- the adjective would have to agree with the noun, romaneschi, plural, except that it is a broccolo, not a lot of broccoli. At least that term uses romanesco as an adjective. "Broccoflower" is ambiguous, although its heart is in the right place. The problem is that it is used for both the green cauliflower and the pointy, fractal broccolo romanesco. Nowadays it seems to be used more for the green cauliflower. Incidentally, when I first started frequenting Roman markets, more than thirty years ago, it was called broccolo romano. Romanesco (previously used only for artichokes and zucchini, and also nonfood uses) for the broccolo was rare until a few years ago.

                                                                                                  1. re: mbfant
                                                                                                    paulj Dec 4, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                                                                    The Italian o/i method of marking plurals is lost on (American) English speakers. We use 's' to mark plurals, except for some common words that have been 'grandfathered in' (mice, data, etc). Hence 'a panini', 'two paninis'.

                                                                                                    Anytime a word is borrowed from another language, there's the question of how baggage comes along with it. Does it keep grammatical features like plurals, gender, agreement with adjectives, etc?

                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                      Jay F Dec 4, 2011 10:55 AM

                                                                                                      paulj: "The Italian o/i method of marking plurals is lost on (American) English speakers. We use 's' to mark plurals, except for some common words that have been 'grandfathered in' (mice, data, etc). Hence 'a panini', 'two paninis'."

                                                                                                      You've reminded me of Rita's and their dreadful "gelatis."

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                        Will Owen Mar 2, 2012 03:18 PM

                                                                                                        There is a new vendor at the South Pasadena farmer's market who has the most delicious-looking panini, but until he changes that big sign that says PANINIS I'm not gonna buy one.

                                                                                                        Also once knew a man whose last name was Gaglione. Lovely name if you pronounce it right, instead of GAG lee OWN as he did …

                                                                                                        1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                          sandylc Mar 2, 2012 08:05 PM

                                                                                                          I have threatened for years to begin carrying a big black magic marker to correct signs with. Just afraid I'd be arrested.

                                                                                                      2. re: mbfant
                                                                                                        DeppityDawg Dec 5, 2011 02:15 AM

                                                                                                        It is incorrect to say that Italian does not convert adjectives into nouns, and it is incorrect to say that this renders the adjectives "useless" for other purposes. You said that Italians use "romanesco" to refer to Roman dialect. In other words, they use the adjective as a noun, and it doesn't stop them from using the "romanesco" as an adjective in other situations. Ditto for other ordinary nouns like "finale", "Natale", "giallo", … all of these are adjectives used as nouns, with a special, more specific meaning, and yet they remain perfectly usable as adjectives in other contexts in Italian. Food and drink related examples include "gelato", "parmigiano", "ricotta", "ribollita", "spumante", …

                                                                                                        1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                                          mbfant Dec 5, 2011 03:54 AM

                                                                                                          I don't believe I said Italian never uses adjectives as nouns. If I had, I would have to refer myself to a paper I wrote on the Italian language of food for the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery in which I discussed the elegant things Italian does with past participles. I will say to you what I am always saying to my engineer husband: Oh, don't be so literal minded!
                                                                                                          My objection to the use of "romanesco" as a substantive for a single vegetable when others rely for their identity on the same adjective is comparable to the hypothetical use of, say, "French" for a potato dish, with no regard for how French toast is going to feel. (Obviously in either case, context might make abbreviation appropriate -- how do you want your toast? French -- but that isn't the issue.) That has nothing to do with the double duty of gelato for ice cream and anything else frozen or the understood substantive (formaggio) of the adjective parmigiano. Actually -- to illustrate the dangers of messing with people's adjectives -- in at least one case, the use of an adjective as substantive led to the replacement of the same adjective with its Latin form, and so the adjective of Norcia is nursino, not norcino, which today has another meaning. But that is a story for another day.

                                                                                                          1. re: mbfant
                                                                                                            DeppityDawg Dec 5, 2011 05:39 AM

                                                                                                            You did write that "[Italians] do not hijack useful adjectives (like romanesco) to use as nouns, thus rendering them useless for other needs" so I don't think I can be faulted for taking that to be your opinion. You seem to think that if one turns an adjective into a noun in order to single out one particular vegetable/food/thing, then that adjective can no longer be used to refer to other vegetables/foods/things, and this is not true. You also suggest that this is unfair and hurtful to the vegetables/foods/things that get left out of the special treatment; I have no idea if that is true or not.

                                                                                                            I still don't understand why you are happy to supply the understood noun or accept a specialized meaning — which in no way invalidates the more general adjectival uses — for the words parmigiano/parmesan, caprese, etc. but not for romanesco? What about "romaine", "florentin", "génoise", "bavarois", "chinois" etc. in French? Or "Wiener", "Berliner", "Frankfurter", etc. in German? Or "poblano", "habanero", "serrano", etc. in Spanish? " Or "Danish" in English?

                                                                                                            1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                                              LorrieB Dec 5, 2011 06:34 AM

                                                                                                              I think the thing about this thread that tickles me the most is that I opened up the 'broo-skett-a' discussion back in mid-November. Almost immediately after adding a reply I got an email (and probably it is contained within the thread) from someone asking me where in the world I found this 'dead thread' that had no activity since 2004!! I wanted to reply "who are you, the thread police??" Looks like the discussion about bruschetta and Italian in general is very much alive to me!!

                                                                                                              1. re: LorrieB
                                                                                                                JReichert Dec 5, 2011 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                Meh. I've had the same response before. What's wrong with being interested in a thread, I wonder?

                                                                                                                1. re: JReichert
                                                                                                                  LorrieB Dec 5, 2011 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                  I don't know - nothing wrong with it. I googled to find out how others dealt with the 'brew-skett-a'' issue and maybe it was the webmaster writing to me asking how I ever found this old thread. Maybe he doesn't know that they don't magically disappear--someone has to remove it.

                                                                                                                2. re: LorrieB
                                                                                                                  paulj Dec 5, 2011 08:34 AM

                                                                                                                  I was the one who asked, and did so more out of curiosity than anything else. I did not mean it as a reprimand.. And as you can see I am still interested in the topic, whether the OP was old or not.

                                                                                                                  I am more interested in how old threads get revived, not in whether it is ok to discuss topics that have been hashed out before. However, one problem with reviving an old thread (as opposed to starting a new one), is that people often ignore the posting dates. Does it make sense to ask a question of a poster who hasn't been on Chow since 2004?

                                                                                                                  On the other hand, it is possible to start a new thread too soon. Sometimes moderators will lock a thread that duplicates something already in progress (most often on Food Media). And I've been known to link to a similar thread that took place two weeks ago, or even a year - usually one that I'd participated in. The default time limit on Chow's own search is 1 year.

                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                    LorrieB Dec 5, 2011 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                    To answer your question, it makes perfect sense. That's apparent since so many people still seem to be enjoying the repartee, as you can see. I thought the person who asked this was the board moderator or something, since I can't even find that original question posed to me "where did you find this thread?" I personally have enjoyed this website and this thread and whether it's 4 years or 4 months doesn't seem like it made much difference. Apparently no one on this board has locked anything. And as for me personally, I've had a great time reading these posts not to mention quite a few great laughs! Maybe it really was time to revive it after all.

                                                                                                                3. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                                                  mbfant Dec 5, 2011 06:39 AM

                                                                                                                  Obviously I don't know either whether the other vegetables' feelings are hurt, but it amuses me to think of a little gang of zucchine romanesche and carciofi romaneschi all indignant over the appropriation of their adjective, to say nothing of the poor broccolo standing there stripped of his noun and feeling quite bare.

                                                                                                                  As for the rest, all your examples are quite correct, though I'd submit that "Danish" is colloquial for the complete "Danish pastry," as in, "Gimme a cheese danish." As for what the other languages do, I'm happy to let them do it. They've been doing it for centuries and it's correct and idiomatic in those languages and even if it weren't, these words have the legitimacy that comes with generations of use. As a translator, I envy the possibility (quick, try a succinct translation of maltagliati or tagliatelle). My objection is to the sudden and recent appearance of the word romanesco to designate, tout court, a vegetable that has a perfectly good name of its own, at the same time leaving the door open to ambiguity, given the word's importance in designating at least two other green vegetables. In other words, my objection is not to usage that has established itself through sheer longevity (whether I like it or not) but to the cynical or ignorant adoption of a wrong -- with respect to its language of recent origin -- usage that also has the potential to create ambiguity or problems or confusion given the way it is used at home. Are you an engineer? ;-)

                                                                                                                  1. re: mbfant
                                                                                                                    DeppityDawg Dec 5, 2011 08:42 AM

                                                                                                                    I would agree that the use of "romanesco" in English is ignorant, in the sense that the average English speaker doesn't know that it was originally an Italian word or how to form the plural in Italian, and they don't know what the word means in Italian, or they have the wrong idea about what it means in Italian. This is true of many loanwords in many languages, and if you have the good or bad luck to know the original language, you may find the adopted usage objectionable/ignorant/unfortunate/unnecessary/annoying/etc. Which doesn't automatically make it wrong.

                                                                                                                    I don't see how you can describe the use of "romanesco" in English as "cynical". Or am I taking your words too literally again?

                                                                                                                    1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                                                      paulj Dec 5, 2011 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                      And often the individuals involved in growing and selling vegetables are not 'average English speakers'. At certain times and regions they could have been Italian immigrants, later Greek. Now they could be Hispanic, or Vietnamese. A college education with junior year in Rome is not a requirement for entry into the produce business. :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                                                        Bkeats Dec 5, 2011 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                        The average “american english” speaker demonstrates a lack of understanding of foreign languages in general and often a lack of the particulars of the English language (don't mean to get into another grammar discussion here). Most of my English acquaintances have a better knowledge, but not necessarily better pronunciation, of foreign languages. How many times have you seen “chow” for “ciao” (but not by Chowhounders I imagine)? Given that, is it surprising that there are various pronunciations for bruschetta?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                          freia Dec 5, 2011 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                          This specific thread is for ciaohounds I think...

                                                                                                                          1. re: freia
                                                                                                                            Bkeats Dec 6, 2011 12:07 PM


                                                                                                                          2. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                            Harters Dec 5, 2011 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                            I don't speak American English but English English where bruschetta is with a "k".

                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                              Lizard Dec 6, 2011 12:42 PM

                                                                                                                              Really? I wish they'd pronounce it correctly here. I cannot even keep count of the number of restaurants here whose servers have asked if I'd care for the 'Brooshetta' and goodness knows that everyone on Come Dine With Me mispronounces it. Makes me grit my teeth each time.

                                                                                                                              Stop trying to confuse these Americans, Harters. Maybe your town is good, but I've yet to find a place in these parts or down south that has managed to be sensible. Won't even get started on the sandwich shops offering "pannini's" Ugh.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                sandylc Dec 6, 2011 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                That's a really tough one. I hate to look like a jerk by correcting them, but it's hard to let it pass.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                  Lizard Dec 6, 2011 11:28 PM

                                                                                                                                  When it's a server I don't, but I recall many a shared look with an equally pedantic friend and colleague that gave me solace in such moments.

                                                                                                                                  I suppose, though, that when so many people here pronounce 'schedule' as 'shedule' there is a certain consistency.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                    Harters Dec 7, 2011 02:43 AM

                                                                                                                                    I've always thought of "skedule" as American English while "shedule" is English English.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                      LorrieB Dec 7, 2011 04:02 AM

                                                                                                                                      Maybe because English is not a romance language. Americans also say "haff" for half, while Brits say "hoff." By the way, Wikipedia has a good deal of info about the Italian alphabet, and in particular, the 'read' on the letters C and G. Guess I learned a good bit of Italian when I was very young and trying to keep up with the Italian spoken in our house (done mostly so we kids wouldn't know what our parents were saying about us or miscellaneous relatives,) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                        Lizard Dec 7, 2011 04:22 AM

                                                                                                                                        Yes, I don't know what you're getting at. The point is that Brits regularly mispronounce bruschetta. At least (almost) every one I encounter and the ones on all the cookery programmes.

                                                                                                                                        As for American or British English-- hard to say. All my Italian friends who've never lived in the US but speak English and have lived here for decades say 'skedule'.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                          Harters Dec 7, 2011 04:54 AM

                                                                                                                                          I'll bow to your superior knowledge of how Englsih speaking Italians of your acquaintance pronounce "schedule".

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                        DeppityDawg Dec 7, 2011 06:40 AM

                                                                                                                                        When they start saying "summer shool", "Rhodes sholar", and "Ponzi sheme", we can talk about consistency.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                                                                          paulj Dec 7, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                          I must have asked this question before, but, are there similar examples of common English words with 'sch' in the middle of the word? 'school', 'scheme', etc have it at the start, where the 3 letters have to be treated as a unit. In 'bruschetta', we have the option of splitting the 's' from the 'ch' 'brus chet ta'. The data suggests that that is the default choice for English speakers.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                            DeppityDawg Dec 7, 2011 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                            Yes, you asked this in the "What The Heck Is Up With All This "Chipolte" BS?????" thread:

                                                                                                                                            I don't think that there is a default choice for the pronunciation of ‹sch› (followed by a vowel) in English, whether at the start or in the middle of a word.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                                                                              LorrieB Dec 7, 2011 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                                              I agree with you. And also agree that we've dissected the bruschetta adequately and are in agreement it is broo-skett-a. LOL

                                                                                                                                            2. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                              freia Dec 7, 2011 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                              Schedule! Shhedule or SKedule depending on dialect and where you're from. Seems to me that historically, the "sch" pronounced as "sh" was actually replaced in the written form as "sh" during the Middle English period, meaning that words historically (usually from German origins I believe) with the "sch" pronounced as "sh" are now written as "sh". So not really a default, just a hangover from language evolution? :)

                                                                                                                                            3. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                                                                              tokyo Dec 14, 2011 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                                              "summer shool", "Rhodes sholar", and "Ponzi sheme"


                                                                                                                                    2. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                                      paulj Dec 5, 2011 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                      What's wrong with 'chow'? According to
                                                                                                                                      it's been adopted into many languages with various mixes of pronunciation and spelling adaptations.

                                                                                                                                      For example, in Spanish it is chao or chau.

                                                                                                                                      In contrast to 'bruschetta', I have heard ciao a lot more than I've seen it written. And even then I probably heard it from Spanish speakers before any of my English speaking peers used it. So 'chao' is a familiar spelling, 'caio' is totally foreign. In fact, without context, I wouldn't connect the two.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                        Bkeats Dec 6, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                        Umm, I don't follow your argument. Per the link you provided, in english the spelling is "ciao" not "chao" as the spanish may spell it. In fact I don't see "chow" anywhere on the wikipedia site. I agree that "caio" is totally foreign as you say as I think that would be pronounced something like "kai-o". I'm reminded of a friend who once showed me her new italian bag that she announced was designed by "see-owh" as she pointed to the Ciao label.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                                                          paulj Dec 6, 2011 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                          OK, you win, the Urban Dictionary uses 'ciao'

                                                                                                                                          However, several of the contributed definitions have this tone:
                                                                                                                                          " if said by anyone who isn't from italy, it actually means, i think i'm better than you and act pretentious all the time because i think i'm much more interesting than i am."

                                                                                                                                          I suppose that is doubly true if you use it, and don't know how Italians spell it. :)

                                                                                                                    2. re: paulj
                                                                                                                      alitria Dec 6, 2011 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                      Thank You.

                                                                                                                      I cook frequently, read often, and am always eager to learn more about the world around me. However, as someone who is self-taught and from a family and region of the US where frozen burritos and grocery store Chinese food were the extent of cultural exploration I'm sure I have mangled many words in my time. I'm one of those people who spent plenty of time mispronouncing bruschetta because I read a recipe for it long before I heard anyone pronounce it correctly.

                                                                                                                      This, to me, is an argument that is far more about class than it is about food.

                                                                                                                      1. re: alitria
                                                                                                                        mbfant Dec 6, 2011 11:28 PM

                                                                                                                        "This, to me, is an argument that is far more about class than it is about food."

                                                                                                                        Not to me. It's about experience and openness and language. I'm sure we have all mangled words in languages we don't know -- nobody is immune to that. But once we learn the standard pronunciation in the word's original language -- possible at any income and educational level -- do we then change our pronunciation to the original (and I mean just giving the letters their correct basic sounds, like a hard C, not flourishes of rolled R's and comic-opera accents) or assign the original meaning, or do we say, no, we do it like this.

                                                                                                                        1. re: alitria
                                                                                                                          Lizard Dec 6, 2011 11:33 PM

                                                                                                                          "This, to me, is an argument that is far more about class than it is about food."

                                                                                                                          Yes. And a form of class that is determined by cultural capital (in this case assets measured in 'foodie' knowledge).

                                                                                                                          OK, I said I was cutting back on this site. Must keep that promise.

                                                                                                                          1. re: alitria
                                                                                                                            hsk Dec 7, 2011 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                            @alitria "This, to me, is an argument that is far more about class than it is about food."

                                                                                                                            @ BK "in english the spelling is "ciao" not "chao" as the spanish may spell it."

                                                                                                                            In English, the spelling is "bye", some people choose to say ciao (which is an italian word) for their own reasons. It's not the same as using the foreign word for a foreign food item for which there actually isn't an english word..

                                                                                                                            To me, it's about communication - brooshetta, broosketta, its doesn't matter as long as it's referring to the same food item - like pho pronounced foe not fuh.

                                                                                                                    3. re: JReichert
                                                                                                                      LorrieB Dec 7, 2011 04:12 AM

                                                                                                                      Chuckling as i read this post (and the "gli=yee") and remembering a restaurant near us when we still lived in NJ. It was called "Tre Figlio" and my friend Joe (NON Italian) used to get downright angry when he would call for a reservation and they would answer the phone "Good afternoon, TRAY FIG LEE O." LOL

                                                                                                              2. GustiaFood Dec 5, 2011 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                I live on the Italian/French border and in Liguria they say "broo-SKEH-tah."


                                                                                                                1. SanityRemoved Dec 7, 2011 12:22 AM

                                                                                                                  "Garlic bread with ..."

                                                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                                                    granolanola Feb 18, 2012 10:01 PM

                                                                                                                    The word Bruschetta comes from the word bruscare, to roast over coals. So, Bru-SKEH-tah is how is should be pronounced, although there will always be debate. It is sometimes annoying to hear a word pronounced differently than you pronounce it, but I'm sure that I butcher words that others hold dear to their ear.

                                                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                                                      bamagirl30 Feb 22, 2012 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                      Looking at the posts and the myriad people who have traveled and have friends in Italy, this is clearly an opinion on what someone is comfortable saying. I had the same issue with endive. I prefer "ahn-deev" as opposed to "In-dive" but even professional chefs call it one or the other. I googled it and the pronounciation is is either one. Really, I can't get mad about anyone mispronouncing biscotti, bruchetta, or endive when I live in East Tennessee and cannot get anyone to pronounce normal American words correctly!! Now that is annoying (i.e. "differnt" "skeered" et al)

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: bamagirl30
                                                                                                                        sandylc Feb 22, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                        Ouch. Those are painful. My mom's side comes from Kentucky, and there are some cringe words there, too.

                                                                                                                      2. p
                                                                                                                        plasticanimal Feb 27, 2012 03:58 AM

                                                                                                                        I pronounce it "diced tomatoes all over my shirt".

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: plasticanimal
                                                                                                                          mbfant Feb 27, 2012 11:31 PM

                                                                                                                          Cute, but you've brought up my second pet peeve. After the mispronunciation of the basic word, what gets me most is the notion that bruschetta by definition includes tomatoes. It doesn’t. A bruschetta is the basic toast with oil and usually garlic (though garlic haters who omit it would be right to claim their nonstinky oily toast is equally deserving of the name bruschetta). Everything else is an extra. Bruschetta al pomodoro could, indeed, be translated "diced tomatoes all over my shirt." But bruschetta al prosciutto, say, would have to be "slice of oily ham in my lap."

                                                                                                                          1. re: mbfant
                                                                                                                            paulj Feb 28, 2012 12:05 AM

                                                                                                                            No, no. bruschetta is that tub of Italian style salsa that I've been buying from Trader Joes for years. The toasted bread I put it on is crostini.

                                                                                                                            1. re: mbfant
                                                                                                                              sandylc Feb 28, 2012 07:44 AM

                                                                                                                              mbfant, thanks for saying it. I was politely refraining 'cause I'm SO nice. ha.

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