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Jul 5, 2007 11:44 AM

"Ooh! You Made Bruschetta!"

I'm not sure who out there has seen the new Nabisco Sociables cracker ad, but it makes me INSANE.

A couple of housewives are getting ready for their monthly book club meeting. As they are talking about the food, one of them comments, "Ooh! You made bruschetta!" and the other one talks about how easy it was to make... just dice up some tomatoes and onions, and add your favorite Italian dressing (gasp!) Then... this is the worst part... they talk about putting the "bruschetta" on the new Sociables crackers one of them brought over.

As far as I was schooled, bruschetta is grilled bread brushed with olive oil and whatever toppings you want to put on it, whether it's tomatoes and onions (and NOT with Italian bottled dressing, shudder!) or something else (chopped olives, prosciutto, etc.) It got me thinking... maybe I am confused. Am I thinking of Crostini? I always thought Crostini were little toasts, also to be brushed with olive oil and topped with whatever you want. Is bruschetta really diced tomatoes and onions? Or are the Nabisco marketing people IDIOTS? (I think I already know the answer to this question.)

Every time I see this commercial it makes me crazy... I had to share my feelings with fellow 'hounders, the only other people in the world who might be bothered by something as "trivial" as the true meaning of bruschetta. :)

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  1. and they mispronounce Bruschetta, too! like Bru-shetta instead of Bru-sKetta! I'm with you! Makes me nuts!

    Bruschetta is toasted bread. The topping is the topping, not the bruschetta! I often top mine the Tuscan way with sauteed chicken livers, and friends are surprised that it is "bruschetta!" they've seen too many of these incorrectly used references.

    TGI Fridays' ads talk about "Brushetta Chicken" What the Sam Hill is THAT???

    20 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      Just saw this post, and the first thing I wondered about was whether they pronounced Bruschetta correctly!
      I haven't seen the commercial, thank goodness, I wonder if it's a national ad, or if they've targeted certain areas.
      Bruschetta is bread rubbed with garlic (slice a clove crosswise and rub), brushed with olive oil and grilled. We know it as also topped with something like tomatoes.
      Crostini are small and thin slices of bread brushed with olive oil and toasted. Could also be topped, ie for a pass-around appetizer.

      Edit: btw I also hate it when culinary schools say CULLinary in their ads.

      1. re: slacker

        Do you say "Kyool"? I think that might just be regional.

        1. re: slacker

          "Edit: btw I also hate it when culinary schools say CULLinary in their ads."
          Why? While "kyoo-luh-ner-ee" is preferred, but both are acceptable pronunciations. I've always used the "kyoo" format, but I've heard "cull" a lot on cooking shows.

          cu·li·nar·y Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation [kyoo-luh-ner-ee, kuhl-uh-] –adjective of, pertaining to, or used in cooking or the kitchen.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            I'm in the CULL-i-nary camp... but mostly because in my other mother tongue, "cul" pronounced the other way is not a very nice word.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              It's culinary, not CULLinary. Just like Forte is "fort," not "fortay." The secondary pronunciation is an evolution of misuse.

              1. re: slacker

                Yes, I'm aware of that. That's why I said "kyoo-luh-ner-ee" is the preferred pronunciation - however, secondary pronunciations get used often enough that they often show up as accepted pronunciations, albeit secondary. That happens with evolving languages. I guess you (and I, as I learned and prefer the original pronunciation) will continue to use "kyoo" instead of "cull" - but once it's accepted, not much you can do about it. Other than pronounce it the way you wish to.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Preferred by whom? All three of my dictionaries (M-W, OED, and American Heritage) show either pronunciation as acceptable.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    I always understood that the first pronunciation is usually the preferred one (or at minimum, the original pronunciation).

                  2. re: LindaWhit

                    The 1963 Webster's shows "cul" with a schwa (unstressed mid-central vowel) as the preferred pronunciation. It's probable that the use of the "kyoo" became more common because Americans in certain regions often pronounce the U this way, so later dictionaries would reflect a shift to a different pronunciation.
                    The word derives from the Latin "culinarius" so the "kyoo" would have been incorrect originally and not used by educated speakers who were also exposed to other Romance languages. Unfortunately, most Americans no longer are. Now so many have used the "kyoo" for so long that it has become accepted.

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      Fair enough. I don't have a 1963 version of Webster's to refer back to. :-) However, push come to shove, it eventually comes down to personal preference or personal learning and use of a word. Right or wrong as someone else might think it is if both pronunciations are listed as acceptable.

                      1. re: MakingSense

                        Plus English had this little thing called 'the Great Vowel Shift', in which 'u' was diphthongised (as in the 'kyoo'). Just because a word can be traced back to Latin does not mean it should be pronounced with a French or Spanish accent.

                        This linguistics blog may be of interest


                        1. re: paulj

                          If you are "curious" enough, you'll find lots of exceptions to any pattern in the English language. That's why it's so difficult to learn.

                          It really is pretty useless to argue over minor pronunciation and regional differences in the US (and it's surprising that the Duke linguist would cite anything as one common "US speech style") when you can drive from the Bronx to Charleston before the sun sets. There simply isn't one. As our population becomes more mobile, we have to recognize that different pronunciations aren't necessarily ignorant or uneducated.

                    2. re: slacker

                      The correct French pronunciation is actually "for", no T. Forte can certainly be "for-tay", especially if one is Italian. I do say "kyoolinary", but being British I also say "tyoona" (tuna) and "dyoo" (due) as opposed to the American "toona" and "doo". I also say "ama-turr" (amateur), I'm still baffled as to how it came to be commonly pronounced "ama-choor".

                2. re: ChefJune

                  In some areas of Italy, it is pronounced "bru-shetta." Just like we have regional pronunciations in the US...

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    <In some areas of Italy, it is pronounced "bru-shetta."> Curious which regions you have heard that? I don't think so, but I haven't traveled the whole length and breadth of Italy, so please..... tell us where they say that?

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      In southern Umbria near Lazio. It is the common pronunciation in Orvieto and in the small towns as you drive through Baschi, Terni, Narni, around Lago di Corbara. People kept correcting me. I finally asked friends and was told it was common throughout that region and some other pockets in Italy.
                      I don't see why this should seem odd. The US has regional differences in speech patterns and pronunciations. New Jersey and Texas? The Bronx and Charleston?

                      1. re: MakingSense

                        gotta say - i've lived there and never heard it pronounced as "shet" except by tourists....and i'm so happy that i've never seen the commercial - it would make me crazy too.

                  2. re: ChefJune

                    That commercial makes me cringe too. IMHO it is far easier to slice and toast some baguettes and have the guests put as much 'bruschetta topping' on than it is to put small dollops of topping on small crackers. Seems tedious to me. The commercial further irked me when they wanted to use hummus on those crackers. I am thankful that they didn't make their own rendition of hummus.

                    1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                      wouldn't it make the crackers soggy if it sat for more than a couple of minutes?

                  3. Gawd that ad makes me insane too. There's something very odd and surreal about those ladies' conversation. It makes me feel like, you know, don't drink the water (or, I suppose, eat the crackers). My husband I and I saw the ad for the first time the other day, and as the coven cackles at the end about how FUNNY the book is as how TASTY the crackers are, my darling and I just looked at each other silently with expressions of confusion and horror. Nice to know we're not alone.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: litchick

                      Yes, how dare that "coven" of "housewives" "cackle" and incorrectly use the word bruschetta? Don't they know that language matters?

                      1. re: clepro

                        there are no housewives. there is no coven. there is Nabisco, who does not care that language matters.

                    2. Yeah, wow, that commercial makes me want to scream! "I thought that mistaken identity part was a little farfetched." Oh, you mean someone mistook them for the Stepford wives!! Very scary commercial! I think I've heard Bru-shetta so many times now that I have to think how it's really pronounced! Kind of like when you read the same word over and over again and it starts to look mispelled!

                      1. I've only ever had bruschetta with either tomato/garlic or garlic/cheese... but it's always toasted! I just saw that ad last night and thought 'what a bunch of IDIOTS...'

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kajikit

                          Pronounced idjit.

                          That commercial makes me want to boycott Nabisco products. I'll bet there's a picture of Wretched Ray somewhere on the box as well.

                        2. I hear you.