Saturday, June 20, 2009

Buon appetito!

I wasn’t surprised to learn that many of the English words used in the kitchen are of Italian origin: pasta al dente, marinara, parmesan, espresso, biscotti… no big shockers there. However, I recently came across a few that made me think, “Mamma mia! I didn’t know that word came from Italian!”

Eat your frutta e verdura!

Tutti-frutti - from tutti frutti, meaning ‘all fruits’

Artichoke – from North Italian articiocco (originally from Arabic al-ẖaršúf)

Arugula - from the Neapolian dialect rugula

Broccoli - from plural of broccolo, meaning ‘cabbage-sprout or top’

Cauliflower - from cavolfiore

Zucchini – from plural of zucchina, meaning ‘small gourd’

Got a sweet tooth?

Soda – from soda

Candy – from the Old Italian zucchero candi

Sugar – from zucchero (originally from Arabic)

Of course, these are just a sampling. But it really gave me an appetite for learning Italian!

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