Hearty Welcomes & Salutations! Originally an action-packed travel blog from a globe-trotting Scotsman, An Ache for the Distance has, over the years, slowed down (I post less often), mellowed out (my dogs and kid have found their way on here) and become more of an expat blog (I German things up). Take a look around, leave a comment and share the love if you like something.
Stuart Mathieson, Lübeck, Germany

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Angry Butterflies For Two Please...

Ever wondered why a "prosciutto focaccia" costs almost twice as much as a ham sandwich when they're essentially the same thing?  I'll tell you...because it's Italian!

How angry is your butterfly?
This has nothing to do with Berlusconi giving the Italian economy an inflationary bunga bunga, but more the style and sophistication associated with the Italians and their cuisine.  I mean something like "fagioli stufati e tostato" sounds a lot better than beans on toast and, as with the focaccia, would probably be twice the price of it's English-named counterpart.

But what we English monoglots fail to pick up on is that Italian food is as descriptive as it is delicious.  Order some farfalle pasta for example and you'd be asking for a plate of butterflies.  Would you like your butterflies in a crushed, angry or charcoal burned style?  Strange in English but perfectly acceptable as pesto, arrabiata or carbonara.

Not happy with angry butterflies?  What about little worms (vermicelli) or thin little strings (spaghetti)?  And why not finish it off with a "pick me up" (tiramisu) and a blotchy stained coffee (macchiato)?

Although whatever you order at your local Italian restaurant, be very very careful when ordering penne pasta as you're a slight mispronunciation away from asking for penis.  Thus, if the waiter sniggers when you ask for penne arrabiata, you know you've just asked for an angry penis...You've been warned...

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