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"The Perils of Pronouncing Bruschetta and Prosciutto..." Topic

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963 hits since 10 Mar 2012
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Gattamalata Inactive Member10 Mar 2012 12:46 p.m. PST

Of course I know how to pronounce Brushetta and Prosciutto, but according to Irene on her blog article, The Perils of Pronunciation, it might set someone off.laugh

I'm afraid that I drove a deli counter clerk around the bend recently. And I still don't know how it really happened. A bit of background, first…

There are two bits of Italian food that I absolutely love Bruschetta and Prosciutto. As much as I love them, the pronunciation of them has always been a stumbling block unless I thought about it, because my inclination is to pronounce each of these in the opposite way that they should be.

Bruschetta is pronounced Brew SKET- ta. But I always wanted to pronounce it Brew SHET ta. Proscuitto is pronounced pro SHOE toe, but I always wanted to pronounce it pro SKEW- toe. I'm sure you can understand the stress this has caused me in life.

In my spare time, I could be found muttering to myself "pro-SHOE-toe brew-SKET-ta, pro-SHOE-toe brew-SKET-ta, pro-SHOE-toe brew-SKET-ta". And then one day, it just came naturally. Without thinking, brew-SKET-ta flowed naturally from my lips without thought. Pro-SHOE-toe was simply second nature, requiring no deep concentration.

And so, without even thinking, I walked up to the (non-Italian) deli counter in our mass market chain. They used to carry chopped tomatoes, seasoned with basil, garlic, and olive oil at the counter (they called it bruschetta), but as of late they had started putting it in cartons and hiding it in a new place each time I visited. I suspect it is one of those games born out of boredom that deli counter workers indulge in worldwide.

"Excuse me," I said politely. "Can you tell me where you've put the brew-SKET-ta?". The deli counter said, "What are you talking about?".

"Brew-SKET-ta", I said. "The chopped tomotoes that you used to keep in the deli counter, but that you now put in cartons. Can you tell me where they are?".

The deli counter stared at me with frustration in her eyes and exclaimed loudly, "It's brewSHETta. BruSHETta!"

Taken somewhat aback, I merely responded, "Ok, so where do you keep that?"

She waved in the general direction of a deli case afar, and continued to exclaim loudly, "It's brewSHETa. I've never even heard it called brew-SKET-ta. I am so sick of you people".

I grabbed my carton of bruschetta and carried on, as the deli counter clerk continued to rant loudly. Three aisles away, I could still hear her loudly exclaiming her disgust with customers in general, but me specifically. Though not the smartest move on my part, I turned back to the counter to discuss her clear stress. She got even louder as she screeched about the twenty years of service she had put in dealing with idiots like me.

"Ma'am, I'm sorry you didn't agree with my pronunciation but don't you think this is a bit uncalled for? I'm just here shopping. There's no need to scream at me while I am three aisles away".

The deli counter clerk exclaimed, "I hate customers. I'm through with customers. I've spent twenty years dealing with customers and I've had it! Go ahead and turn me into the manager I've already turned my two week notice in. What are they going to do, fire me?!?!?"

I admit. I did go and speak with the manager. I let him know that one of his employees had snapped, and was on the verge of doing irreparable damage to his customer service image. I didn't really need to tell him we could hear her screaming as we talked. As he approached her to get her to calm down, she grabbed her belongings and announced her intentions to leave rather than be asked to leave.

I'm still a bit puzzled by it all. My only hope is that it does not create a setback in my newly found bruschetta/prosciutto confidence! Who knew the peril that could be found in proper pronunciation.

pphalen Inactive Member10 Mar 2012 2:17 p.m. PST

In NJ, we pronouce Prosciutto, "BRO-zoot" so I can see the confusion…

Personal logo Sue Kes Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member10 Mar 2012 2:29 p.m. PST

Write it down. Hold it up. Pretend to be hard of hearing.


Mr Elmo10 Mar 2012 4:44 p.m. PST

It's like a Giada episode

Don't forget arROOOgula

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2012 6:02 p.m. PST

Can't you pronounce nuthin' right?

skinkmasterreturns10 Mar 2012 10:43 p.m. PST

That's what drove me nuts about the Sopranos.The longer the series went on,the more Italian they tried to sound,not Italian-Americans. The Italian-Americans I grew up with in Cleveland always called them Man-uh-cot-ees,not Man-ee-coat,or motsa-relly versus mooz-a-rell.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Mar 2012 11:56 a.m. PST

It's like a Giada episode

You mean, there's cleavage involved? evil grin

pphalen Inactive Member12 Mar 2012 5:34 a.m. PST

Don't forget arROOOgula

It's a Veg-e-table…

pphalen Inactive Member12 Mar 2012 5:37 a.m. PST

The Italian-Americans I grew up with in Cleveland always called them Man-uh-cot-ees,not Man-ee-coat,or motsa-relly versus mooz-a-rell.

The Italian-Americans I grew up with pronounced things like this:
Manicotti: Man-ee-got
Mozerrella: Mutse-rell (and somtimes with a D, Mutse-a-dell)

My favorite was always Capicola: Gabba-Ghoul!

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