General, obscure & dialect

A

abbinare: to pair a wine with a dish

abbiocco: the enormous sense of drowsiness you feel after a big meal

abbocato: very slightly sweet (wine)

abbuoti: torcinelli

accosciato: trussed (meat or poultry)

acerbo: sour, or unripe

acquasale: a simple soup of garlic, tomatoes and peperoncini served over bread (Basilicata); southern version of acquacotta

agghiu: garlic, in Sicilian

alaccia: alice

alcool, alcolico: alcohol, alcoholic

alimentari: grocery shop

amabile: moderately sweet (wine)

àmoli: dried prunes from Gorizia (Friuli)

andarinos: helix shaped pasta (Sardinia)

annata: vintage (wine)

annecchia: veal scallop (Naples)

annurca: famous apple from Campania; see mela

anzelottos: ravioli filled with fresh cheese, mint and potatoes (Sardinia)

appiattire: to flatten (meat)

argjel: spiced and minced pork lard, conserved under a layer of salt in glass jars (Friuli)

ariscolo: agretti

armelline: apricot seeds, slightly bitter and used to flavour amaretti and other biscuits.

arancinette: little arancini

articioco: carciofo, artichoke (Venice)

asparagi di mare: ('sea asparagus') salicornia

assortiti: assorted

attorta: rocciata

avanzi: leftovers

azienda agricola: farm

B

baccello: pod (peas, etc.)

baggiana: scafata

ballotte: boiled chestnuts flavoured with fennel

balsamella: besciamella

balsamita: erba di San Pietro

barattolo: tin, jar, or a round carton of ice cream

barba di frate: agretti

barbaforte: horseradish

barbon, barbone: triglia (red mullet) Romagna, Marche

barzellana: porcellana, purslane (Sardinia)

bastarduna: fico d'India (prickly pear)

batacin: baccalà (Venice)

bechèra: butcher (Venice), as in the recipe sguazeto a la bechèra

belga: Belgian endive; see cicoria

benzone: a sweet schiacciata topped with almonds, from Modena (Lombardy)

biancostato: beef rib

beùt or beccute: see pagnotta.

bizìgole: young poppy plants, sometimes used in Padua

borgognona: manzo alla borgognona is the French boeuf bourguigon, beef stewed with red wine, mushrooms, carrots and onions.

botte: barrel

bottiglia: bottle

brace: alla brace—grilled

brasato: braised

brut: dry (for sparkling wines)

broada: brovada

brös, brussu: bruss

budellaccio: annoia

burdiglione: insalata di rinforzo

burtlein: gnocchi fritti

bruciuluni: Sicilian for braciole

C

caccociuli:cardi (cardoons) Calabria

caglia, cagliata: curd

calandreddi: Calabrian pasta that resembles shepherds' shoes

caldacalda: farinata

caldo: hot

calia: ciciredddi (Sicily)

calzoncelli: chestnut paste cookies from the Basilicata.

canapiglia: gadwall (a species of duck)

canoce: cicale di mare or canocchie(Venice)

cansunziei: ravioli stuffed with radicchio and prosciutto (Verona)

cantina: winery

caombasa: little pasta doves, served at Easter in Masullas (Sardinia)

caparosoli: vongole (Venice)

capriccioso: 'whimsical', a name for many dishes with a touch of imagination

cappuccia: Molisano dish of Savoy cabbage and pork

carabinero: a kind of red-shelled prawn

carrello: dessert cart

casaro: dairy, cheese maker

castrá: castrato (Veneto)

castraure: baby artichokes (Veneto)

cassoeûla: cassola (Milan)

cassuola, cazzuola: casserole, oven dish

catalogna: (chicory) see puntarelle

cazzimperio, cacimperio: crudité salad, pinzimonio

ceppe: pasta or maccheroni 'con le ceppe' is homemade Molisano bucatini, formed around a wooden or metal rod, the ceppe.

cenci: chiacchiere

cerrene: gelone, oyster mushrooms

cestini: 'little baskets'; many kinds of small stuffed pastries, see barchette

chiara: egg white (yolk is tuorlo)

chiaretto: a light rosé wine

chicca: a treat, a piece of candy

chicco: a (coffee) bean, a grain (rice or wheat), an individual grape or berry

chino, chieno, chjeno: ripieno, stuffed (southern dialects)

chiodini: stump mushrooms

chizze, chisulén: see gnocchi fritti

ciacci, cian: see necci (Tuscany)

ciauredda: see ciaudedda.

cianciuffo: see carosello.

cicerchiata: Abruzzo carnival-time cake made of fried dough balls and honey

cima: scamone (sirloin or tenderloin). Veneto

cimino: sesame seeds (Sicily)

cioffe: chiacchiere. In parts of the Abruzzo, cioffe are cauliflowers

ciopa, ciupeta: coppia ferrarese (bread)

ciribusla: calzagatti

cisrà: chickpea and pork rind soup (Piedmont)

cobbelletti: shortbread biscuits from the Cinque Terre (Liguria)

cocomerazzo: see carosello

coda: tail

colata: coulis

colaz: ring shaped biscuits made in the Carnia mountains of Friuli to celebrate confirmation (in the Ark of Taste)

colazione or primo colazione: breakfast; colazione all'inglese: English breakfast

colla di pesce: ('fish glue') sheet gelatine

colombine: russule mushrooms

condito (con): prepared with or garnished with

corazza: ('armor'), the shell of a lobster, crab, etc. In the south it also can mean stewing beef, scaramella

corifena cavallina: another name for lampuga

cotto: cooked

cresciuta: Sicilian for biga

crioli: Molisano dialect, same as cirioli.

criscenti: a type of Sicilian bread, or Sicilian soft cheese, both in a half-circle shape

croccante: 'crunchy'. A croccante also means a nut brittle (almond, hazelnut, peanut)

cróstoli: chiacchiere

cucina: kitchen, or cuisine

cucchiteddi: Sicilian cookies with almonds and candied pumpkin

cucculicchi: Christmas cake with chestnuts (Calabria)

cudduracci: Calabrian Easter pastries with a whole egg baked in.

cumbriazun: Abruzzese lemon-flavoured cookies

cuore: heart; for fish, cuore can be the back, the thick part of the fillet.

cupettone: iceberg lettuce (Sardinia)

D

dadini: small cubes

dente: tooth; al dente, 'to the tooth', means pasta (or rice or vegetables) cooked just right

diavolicchio, diavolillo, diavulicchiu: hot pepper

diavulilli: sugar nonpareil sprinkles

disidratato: dehydrated

dorso: back; also used for a thick fillet of fish, such as cod

E

ebraico: Jewish (see kasher)

eladitas: little irregular pasta shapes, from Montresta, Sardinia

erba grassa: porcellana, purslane (Lombardy)

erba noce: salvastrella

erbe fine: mix of garden herbs

erbette negus: agretti

erborinn: parsley (Lombardy)

estiva: adj. from estate, summer

estratto: extract

etto, ettogrammo: tenth of a kilo

F

farcia: stuffing

farcito: stuffed

fattoria: farm

fascadielle: dish of alternating layers of polenta and tomato sauce with pancetta and cheese (Molise)

fecola: fecola di patate, potato starch; fecola di mais, cornstarch

fetta: a slice

ficu: see robiola

fileja, filatieri: homemade Calabrian pasta formed around a wire, like bucatini.

filone: the spinal marrow of the calf, used in finanziera

fillo: filo pastry

fior di farina: 'flower of flour'—00 durum wheat flour (the best)

fiore: flower

fiore sicano: see tuma

fischione: widgeon (a species of duck)

fiuritta: tagliatelle (Gallura, Sardinia)

foglie: leaves (foglie di vite: vine leaves)

foiolo: tripe, in Milan

folpi, folpeti: octopus, moscardini (small octopus) (Venice)

fondente: creamy, melting

fornello pronto: an informal restaurant (often a butcher's shop) that specializes in grilled meats

forno, furnu: oven

fragoline di mare: moscardini

frangisassi: erba di San Pietro (rock samphire)

freddo: cold

fregolotta: see sbrisolona

friabile: crumbly

friggitelli: friarielli (sweet fried peppers)

friggitoria: place that sells fried snacks (Naples)

friscieu: frittelle di lattuga (Liguria)

frittedda: Macaroni with a sauce of asparagus, onion, peas and broad beans, from Palermo.

frizzante: sparkling, fizzy

frollare: hang (meat)

fritto: fried

fritto verde: mixed vegetables fried in batter (Lazio)

frittule: ciccioli

frullino: jack snipe

fügasciòn: a lasagne-like dish made with buckwheat, cheese and cabbage from Castione Andevenno in Valtellina (Lombardy)

fundüa: Piedmontese for fonduta

G

galletti, gallinacci, gallozzi, gialletti, giallini, giallaretti, etc: chanterelle mushrooms. See finferli

garofano: clove

garusolo: chiocciole di mare (Venice)

genziana, genzanielle: liqueur distilled from gentian blossoms (Abruzzo)

germano reale: mallard

ghiotta: see agghiotta

gialletti: can mean finferli or zaletti

giallo: yellow

gigli: modern pasta shape resembling a lily (giglio)

girelle: pinwheel cookies

giudio, giudeo: Jewish; see kasher

giugiulene, giurgiulene, giuggiulene, gigiulena: sesame seeds, or sesame seed and and honey sweets (Sicily and Calabria)

gnumeriedde: see marro

gobbelletti: shortbread biscuits from the Cinque Terre (Liguria)

grano arso: dark flour made from toasted wheat, traditionally used for pasta in Puglia and now becoming trendy.

granzio: granchio, crab (Venice)

grasi, grasselli: ciccioli

gratinato: baked with breadcrumbs on top

gratuggiato: grated

griglia, grigliata: grill, grilled; grigliata mista is a mixed grill, either of meat or seafood.

griva della langa: minced pork liver, sausage, parmesan and juniper berries cooked in a caul; speciality of Le Langhe in Piedmont

groviera, gruviera: gruyère, Swiss cheese

I

iaccatieddri: Calabria: fried zucchini with mint

imbianchire: to blanch (usually vegetables)

incappuciata: iceberg-like lettuce from Campania

infiammare: flambé

integrale: whole grain

intingolo: a rich sauce

K

Kniekichl: see *Crafuns mori

L

lampi e turoni: laganelle and chickpea minestra (Campania)

latticini: dairy products

lattosio: lactose

legante: thickener or binder

legatino: same as rigatino (Tuscan pancetta)

lesso: boiled

lili: old fashioned liquid rye-based yeast, used to make pane grezzo (Tuscany)

limoncini: pinwheel cookies with a filling of lemon and orange zest, egg and almonds

liquoroso: fortified

liscari: agretti

litun: mixed wild greens and herbs, boiled and served as a salad or in a frittata (Friuli)

M

maccaronara: fat home-made spaghetti (Molise and Campania)

magnosa, magnosella: cicala di mare

magro: lean cut of meat. for antipasti, 'magro' means no meat at all

manciata: a handful

maniche or mezze maniche: 'sleeves', a pasta shape similar to rigatoni

maniche di frate: Literally, friars' sleeves. Big tubes like cannelloni, only thicker and grooved.

mantecato: mixed, creamed or 'mounted' with butter

maraviglias: chiacchiere

marchegiano: from Le Marche (region)

marcundelis: pork sausage, including the ears and other bits, ground finely and grilled or boiled (Friuli)

mare: sea

marescialla: frattaglie (Naples)

(alla) marinara: generally with seafood, or in the 'sailor's style'

marinato: marinated

marò: a Ligurian pesto made with favas (broad beans), mint and garlic.

martuoffolo: a side dish combining chicory and potatoes (Molise)

marubini, marubén: see anolini

marzaiola: garganey (a species of duck)

marzuolo: grey wild mushroom of early spring

in maschera, mascherato: 'masked'; something thing 'hidden', like a Russian salad in mayonnaise (insalata mascherata) or Carnival cakes covered in candies and frosting.

masciusce: spiny zucchini or squash (Calabria)

masenete: crabs from the Venetian lagoon, see moleche

matriciana: Roman dialect for all'amatriciana

maturo: ripe

mazzacorda: Calabrian stew of offal and potatoes

mendula: almond (Puglia)

meusa, meuza: spleen, see milza (Sicily)

mezzancolle: mazzancolle

milanese: a veal scaloppina fried in breadcrumbs. Also see alla milanese

milzschnittensuppe: see milza (Alto Adige)

mimone: lemon (Sicily)

montare: to whip or thicken

morseddu: or morzeddu, murseddu, morsella, mursella, etc. Stewed tripe from Catanzaro in Calabria, eaten there in sandwiches.

'mpanatigghi: panzarotti with a sweet filling (Sicily)

'mpepata: impepata

mùgnolo: seldom-seen Puglian vegetable close to broccoletti or cima di rapa.

mulignane: Neapolitan for melanzane, aubergine.

mupo: besugo

mussillo: the best part of the fish, for baccalà or stoccafisso (Campania)

mustica: sardella (Calabria)

N

nero: black

nero di seppia: ink of the cuttlefish

nido: nest

nepetella, nipetella: calamint (see mentuccia)

nocetta: ('little nut') choice bit of loin or fillet (pig, rabbit, etc)

nocciolini di Canzo: hazelnut biscotti from Canzo in Lombardy.

nostrano, nostrale: local product

novena: method of preserving chestnuts in water

nudilla: novellame(Calabria)

O

occhino, occhione, occhiolone: besugo

opunzie: fichi delle opunzie are prickly pears, fichi d'india

orecchiette, recchie: gelone, oyster mushrooms (also a classic Puglian pasta shape)

orto: vegetable garden

ossocollo: coppa (Veneto)

ovina: carne ovina = lamb and mutton

ovoline: 'little eggs' of mozzarella

P

pagello: besugo

pagnottella: carosello

paillard: scallopine

palomba, piccionaccio: wood pigeon (Umbria)

pane toscano: see pane di Terni

papero, papera: young goose (before puberty)

papparocci: calzagatti

parigina: thin calzone pizza made with puff pastry around ham and mozzarella

pastizzu: meat pie (Sicily)

pastuccia: Abruzzese dish of polenta with raisins and sausage or salami cooked in.

patolle: see necci (Tuscany)

pecora: sheep, mutton (seldom seen, as Italians prefer lamb or castrato)

peoci: cozze, mussels (Venice)

peparuolo, pepentó: hot peppers

pepata: impepata

pepatelli: spicy bran cookies with pepper, almonds and honey (Abruzzo)

pescatrice: monkfish, coda di rospo

pesce sciabola: scabbardfish (southern: see spatola)

pescecane: cagnetta (Lazio). It also means the great white shark.

pesciolini: pesce azzurro

petroniana: alla petroniana is anything 'Bologna style' (for the city's patron, St. Peter)

pettole: laganelle (Campania)

pezza, pezzo: literally a 'piece', but around Rome and central Italy also a prime beef cut

pezzogna, pezzonia: besugo

a piacere: your choice

piatto: a dish, figuratively or literally

piatto unico: a main dish with meat, pasta and vegetable all together on one plate

picchiapó: leftover beef or other meat stewed with onions and tomatoes (Lazio)

piediporchi: piedi di capra

pidone, pituni: small fried Sicilian calzone pizza

pimpinella: salvastrella (salad burnet)

pioppini, piopparelli: black poplar mushrooms

pipi chini: stuffed peppers (Calabria)

pipiriolos: crossed grained bucatini (Sardinia)

pitta chjina: calzone pizza (Calabria)

pitticelli: meatballs (Calabria)

pizza chiena: calzone pizza (Campania)

pizzico: a pinch of something

pizzòlu: thin stuffed pizza from Sicily

pollame: poultry

polmone: lung

polpa: meat (usually beef is meant) without fat or bones

porcacchia, portulaca: Roman for porcellana (purslane)

porcheddhuzzi: gnocchi shaped Christmas sweet from Puglia, made with the same dough as ncarteddate

porciglione: water rail (small game bird)

portata: course (sette portate = seven courses)

portulaca: porcellana, purslane

porzione: portion

prataioli: wild agaric 'field mushrooms'

pregiato: fine, prized

prelibato, prelibatezze: delicious, delicacies

presso fisso: fixed price menu

Primitivo: a strong Puglian wine

primizie: 'first fruits', the first and best available of any produce

pruppuni: prosciutto made from the suino nero of the Madonie in Sicily.

pucchiacchella: porcellana, purslane (Naples)

puina: Venetian name for ricotta

pummarola: tomato sauce (Naples)

pupatelle: figs from the Cilento (Campania), or in Naples, baby crabs

purpu: polpo, octopus (Puglia)

puveriello: pasta sauce of egg and cheese, maybe pancetta and/or hot pepper flakes

Q

q.b. ('quanto basta'): 'as much as is required', or 'as much as you like'. An abbreviation seen in recipes.

R

radici: roots, radishes (ravanelli)

raffermo: stale (bread)

ramerrino, ramelino: rosemary (Tuscany)

rana pescatrice: (the 'frog fisherwoman'), monkfish, coda di rospo

rapatrello: ramolaccio

rascatilli, rascatill: Calabrian version of strascinati

renetta: russet apple from the Trentino

ridotto: reduced

rigatino: a kind of pancetta from Tuscany, cured for a long time with lots of black pepper.

ris e lujanis: rice and beans (Friuli)

riscaldare: to heat

risoni: same as orzo, small rice-shaped pasta

ritaglio: cutting, slice

rosato: rosé

roscano, rospici, rispoli: agretti

rosegotta: sbrisolona

rosolare: to brown

rosso: red

rosticceria: originally a place where roast meats are sold, now usually with all manner of snacks and prepared dishes. A tavola calda

rostida: see rosticciata

rotolare: to roll or roll up

rotolo: something rolled up

rovello: besugo (Calabria)

roventino: migliaccio (Tuscany)

rraù: Neapolitan ragù

ruccul: Puglian flat bread with oregano and peperoncini baked in

rumegal: first stomach (rumin) of a cow. Venetians eat them.

S

sapore, saporito: taste, tasty

sassi d'Abruzzo: almonds covered in cocoa and sugar that look like pebbles.

sbiraglia: Venetian for giblets (rigaglie)

sbriciolare: to crumble

sbrisulusa, sbrisulada: sbrisolona

sbucciare: to peel

sburlon: quince liqueur from around Parma

scaglie: chips, shavings (of cheese, etc.)

scaldare: to heat

scarpasun, scarpazzone: greens pie (erbazzone)

scarpetta: a ballet slipper: 'fare la scarpetta' means to sop up the sauce

scarpone: melanzane a scarpone is stuffed aubergine (see melanzana)

scelta: choice

sciabola: see spatola

scialatelli: fat home-made spaghetti (Campania)

sciappo: without salt (in regards to bread)

sciolto: dissolved

scottona: heifer

scrofa: sow

secco: dry, as in wine, or dried mushrooms—funghi secchi

selvatico: wild

senape del monaco: ('monk's mustard'), agretti

senza: without

sepoine: seppioline, cuttlefish (Venice)

seriola: see ricciola

serpentini: cavatappi

sfilacetti: thin slices

sfrigoli, sfrizzoli: ciccioli

sfusato amalfitano: big spindle (sfuso) shaped lemon from the Amalfi coast

sgaiozzi: Abruzzese dessert fritters

sgocciolare: to drain, to drip

sgranati: shelled (peas, beans)

sgusciate, sgusciati: shelled

sivoni: wild chicory (Puglia)

sottile: thin, delicate

spalmare/spalmata/spalmato: to spread, spread

sparasi: asparagus (Veneto)

spesso, spessore: thick, thickness

speziato: spiced

spiedo: spit for grilling; small wooden ones are spiedini

spiensa: boiled cow spleen (Venice)

spinarolo: St. George's mushroom

spirali: cavatappi

spitini: see spiedini

sponzi: broccoli (Calabria)

sporcamuss: cream pastry from Puglia; see muso

sportellina: schiacciata

spugnole: morchelle, morel mushrooms

spumini: a name for various cookies and pastries made with baked meringue

spuntatura: cut (of meat)

staccadenti: 'tooth detatchers', little hard almond and vanilla cookies from Puglia

stecchino: toothpick

stiacciata: schiacciata

stortelli: cavatappi

stracci: chiacchiere

strascinata: reheated in the frying pan (Lazio); generally wild chicory, boiled and then sautéed with garlic and peperoncini.

Strauben: fortaie

strengozzi, stringozzi: strangozzi

stuzzicadente: toothpick

suprema (di pollo): chicken breast

surgelato: frozen

svivitella: traditional Abruzzese ring cake flamoured with lemon peel

T

taddi: tenerume

talluzzasa: little discs of pasta (Sardinia)

tartufato: anything made with truffles, or a kind of rich chocolate cake

tavola calda: see above, rosticceria

tazza: a cup

terra: land

testa: head

tibuia: sfogliata (Emilia)

tijeddra: tiella (Calabria)

tocio: sugo (Veneto)

tondini del Tavo: white beans from the Abruzzo

tonnetto: bonita, a fish similar to the tuna; see palamita

torcinelli: see marro (torcinelli can also be fried Christmas fritters in the Abruzzo)

torcoletti: see torchietti

torta di ceci: farinata

tortel dols: sweet tortelli from around Parma, filled with vino cotto or marmelade.

tortiglione: corkscrew pasta, cavatappi

tostato: toasted

tracchie, tracchiulelle: pork rib tips, costine (Naples)

treglia, tregghia: triglia (Campania)

trevignano: radicchio from Treviso

trigghia, trijia: triglia (red mullet) Sicily and Sardinia, Lazio

tris: three versions of something

trivelle: cavatappi

troccoli: Puglian spaghetti alla chitarra

tuoni: chick peas (Campania)

turdilli: Calabrian doughnut holes; see purcedruzzi

turtelein: Bologna dialect for tortellini

turtura: savoury tart (southern)

U

uccelletti: pastries shaped like little birds, and filled with jam (Abruzzo)

urogallo: grouse

uva di mare: 'sea grape', cuttlefish eggs (Puglia)

V

verace: true, genuine

verde: green

vermituri: snails (Calabria)

versare: to pour out, serve up

vopilli: pesce azzurro (Puglia)

vovi: uove, eggs (Venice); also a liqueur

vroccula: broccoli (Calabria)

Z

zaeti, zaleti: see zaletti.

zafarani: yellow peppers from Calabria. Zafarani cruschi or a ruscella are fried crispy ones

zarzegna: alzavola (Veneto)

zigrinati: cross grained pattern on pasta, usually bucatini or rigatoni.

zippa: peritoneum (of a sheep) sometimes used in salame

zolletta: cube or lump, as in sugar

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