Mittwoch, November 09, 2011

Pepperoni, what's that?

This post is in English for Max Vishnev from CityRover Waking Tours in New York. We discussed the thing I like to call the  .....

The Peperoni Confusion

When you use the word Pep(p)eroni in a multicultural environment there is a good chance that everybody think on something different without being aware that there could be a misunderstanding. The confusion rises about sausage, vegetable and spicy things.

Here a table listing three items with the different names depending from the region:


Item US Germany   Switzerland
Italy


Bell Pepper
     
Paprika

Peperoni

Peperone
pl. Peperoni

Hot pepper


Peperoni
Chili
Pfefferoni
Peperoncini
Chili

Peperoncini
Peperone picante


PepperoniSalami Scharfe Salami    Salame Piccante  

As we see the word Pep(p)eroni stays for all items shown on the left side, depending where you are. Ok, in US a p was added, but this is not too much of a difference.

Bell pepper and hot pepper both belong to the plant species Capsicum which originate from South America and was brought by the Spaniards to Europe. Italian migrants brought the vegetable to the European countries North of the Alps and to North America. The fact that Bell Pepper was at the beginning not ready available in the local market in Switzerland and Germany made the immigrants bringing large amounts of the vegetable from their home leaves. Therefore Italian immigrants were often nicknamed as Peperoni Eaters in Switzerland.

The American Pepperoni most probably got its name from the hot sauce which is used to season spicy salami in Italy, which is made from peperone calabrese (hot pepper from Calabria). As the most things get shortened in US it may have become Pepperoni. The invention of this type of sausage is clearly American since the Italian versions are normally made much spicier and named Salsiccia Napoletana Piccante or in another way, but never Peperoni or Pepperoni.

Driven by the confusion above there is another confusion about pizza, which I like to name ...


The Transatlantic Pizza Topic Confusion


Here again a table listing pizzas and their names in different regions:

Item US Germany
Italy
Switzerland


Pizza
Pepperoni         
Pizza
Salami

Pizza Diavolo
(en. devil pizza)

Pizza w/
Sausage
Pizza mit
Hackfleisch    


Pizza con
carne macinata


Pizza w/
Bell Pepper
Pizza mit
Paprika    


Pizza con
peperoni

From above we see that there are two confusions:

  • Those Europeans who think that Salami is a sausage and think that they get a Pizza Pepperoni are disappointed by getting a pie with meat crumbles. 
  • Those Europeans who think that Pepperoni is bell pepper like in Peperoni in Italy and order a Pizza Pepperoni get disappointed since they find a pizza with meat instead of vegetable. This is especially disappointing for a vegetarian.

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