I wish I spoke Italian. Before I started eating 31 Days of Pizza every October, most of the words I knew in Italian were ones Dean Martin mentioned in the song “That’s Amore.” Since the moon hit my eye back in 2002, I’ve added a lot of new words to my Italian lexicon which came free with the added weight on my belly.
Speaking of belly, most folks know pancetta as “Italian bacon” but how is it different from non-Italian bacon?
While both are cured pork belly bacon, unlike pancetta, has been cold smoked.
What is the difference between Parmigiano-Reggiano and parmesan cheese?
Parmesan is the Anglicized version of Parmigiano. Both refer to a hard, granular cow’s milk cheese but Parmigiano-Reggiano designates a particular area in the Italian provinces of Parma and Reggio Emilia where it was created. It is a protected product of the European Union and the country of Italy. (For more trademarked product fun, check out my article on Unforgettable VPN, and Other Official Pizza Acronyms).
What is the Italian word for the outer edge of a pizza?
Cornicione. It’s a bit of a mouthful, no pun intended.
How does Parmigiano-Reggiano differ from Pecorino Romano?
The major difference is that Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese comes from cow’s milk and Pecorino Romano comes from sheep’s milk. “Pecora” means “sheep” in Italian and Romano refers to where the salty cheese was first produced. An 1884 prohibition preventing the salting of cheese inside Roman shops forced the producers of the cheese to move to the island of Sardinia.
What do I call the “pizza maker?”
If the pizza chef is a male, he’s a pizzaiolo. If she’s a woman, use the word pizzaiola. If there are more than one and at least one is a male, then they are the pizzioli.
What is the difference between prosciutto and pancetta?
Both are cured pork products but prosciutto comes from the back of the leg (the “ham”) whereas pancetta comes from the belly. It’s similar to the difference between ham and bacon.
What is the difference between fresh mozzarella and the other mozzarella?
Fresh mozzarella has a shorter shelf life than low moisture or “aged” mozzarella. Oil is added in the aging process which tends to reduce the whiteness of the cooked cheese.
Where can I get some fancy Italian meats and cheeses you mentioned?
Napoli style pizzerias such as Kesté, Don Antonio, and Forcella, to name a few.
Sean Taylor has been blogging about pizza since he began his annual Quest for the 31 Days of Pizza in 2002. He also teaches and performs improv comedy at the Magnet Theater. You can follow him on Twitter @seantaylor or visit him at www.seantaylor.us.
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