Monday, March 3, 2014

Gnocchi Isn't Nooky

When I was in high school and college, I took French. Since then, I've taken classes in many other languages and firmly believe that everyone should take at least one foreign language class in their life. It really helps you to properly pronounce words, especially when ordering food. 

Restaurant menus and wine lists can be really intimidating, especially when the items listed have foreign names. It's worth it to do a little research to find out what these crazy named things are and how to ask for them without feeling foolish.
There will always be those words that trip you up, but half of the problem is not even knowing you're saying the word wrong because practically everyone else does the same. 

Sometimes when the correct pronunciation is used, people will just stare at you blankly because they have no idea what you're talking about. "Pho" and "gyro" are perfect examples. 

One of my top pet peeves is the word for those tender little Italian potato dumplings ~ gnocchi. Please for the love of God, stop calling them "nooky" or "no-key!" Think of lasagna. In Italian, the combo of gn = ny. This will help you remember that it's NYO-kee. 

I recently watched this video from Foodbeast and wanted to pass it along because I'm sure there's at least one word in this list that you struggle with. 
For years I mispronounced bruschetta because that's how everyone I knew said it. Now if I say it properly, most people look at me like I'm a weirdo. I'm notoriously tongue tied when I try to say Worcestershire sauce. I visited my friend in Charlotte, NC years ago and a lady down there called it woo woo sauce. So much easier!

How many of us know how to say poutine? This guy shows us how to say it properly and for some reason, he cracks me up while doing it.
Another one of my tricky words is saucisson and thanks to Melissa Khoury, I now have reasons to actually say it. Saucisson Cleveland is the name of her amazing artisan cured meats and sausage company. She is Cleveland's queen of pork and you can find her at the Downtown Cleveland Market on Fridays and at the North Union Farmer's Market on Saturday. 

What word always causes you problems? What's your pet peeve?

3 comments:

  1. I get the same reaction to bruschetta, so I tend to alternate between using the American pronunciation and the Italian one. I remember traveling to Macaroni Grille on a school field trip to Washington DC. I ordered manicotti and the waitress looked at me like I had 3 eyes. I had no idea why she couldn't understand me and she had no idea what I wanted to eat.

    My biggest food pronunciation pet peeves belong to Chipotle, mozzarella and espresso.

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  2. Ah! I love this - I need to work on a few of these. Most times - I still say ones I know properly, "wrong" just to not make a stink. Gnocchi is a coveted dish though and deserves to always be pronounced correctly.

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  3. Love this. I was pronouncing Pho and Bruschetta wrong... and my boyfriend pronounces Poutine wrong! so now of course I have to send him this link :P

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