In Italian and in Italy, the table, LA TAVOLA, as we have already discovered brings with it a concept different from IL TAVOLO.
It is around UNA TAVOLA that one should have the loved ones and, of course, Real Friends – VERI AMICI. That’s why we believe it is more than ever important for you to be able to …spot FALSI AMICI when A TAVOLA!
Welcome to our list of Falsi Amici you may find when talking about food.
If you fancy an ice cream (even if you followed our lesson in pills about GELATO) and you want to order one “alla CREMA”, be prepared to receive Vanilla ice cream while, if you ask for the English “cream”, you will get PANNA.
In PASTICCERIA, la CREMA is Custard. The typical English Custard, in Italian is what we call CREMA PASTICCERA.
CRUDO as in Prosciutto crudo, means raw, not cooked. What in English is “crude” in Italian means vulgar or VOLGARE.
Un AVVOCATO (layer) has nothing to do with Avocado ( by the way not so popular among Italian cooking ingredients)
BOLOGNESE in Italian is an adjective describing someone from Bologna, the beautiful city. If you are not vegetarian and would like to order pasta bolognaise…remember that you need to order pasta al RAGU’ (and by the way, in Italy we do not know “meat ball sauce” for pasta)
MORBIDO describes something soft and not “morbid”- MACABRO. Eg: Il Tiramisù è un dolce morbido al cucchiaio.
A Pepperoni (spicy sausage) Pizza is una pizza con salamino piccante while PEPERONI in Italian are the colourful peppers.
Finally, if you fancy eating outside, in Italy ask for un tavolo ALL’APERTO and not AL FRESCO !
The last one is an expression often used to describe someone sent to jail : l’hanno mandato al fresco . So …worth spotting the difference.