Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sfogliatella, I tell ya italia

My last adventure in Boston was to pick up some sfogliatelle, the signature pastry of Naples. They are flaky pastries shaped like clamshells filled with an orange ricotta mix and are unavailable in Ann Arbor though the local Abbruzzese restaurant makes a version with a different pastry. Also available in the same bakery are lobstertails which are larger but filled with a sweeter creamier filling more to American tastes. I prefer the sfogliatelle filling. There are several bakeries in the North End but Shanna's new place isn't as close as her old place plus it is impossible to park there. Fortunately, one of the bakeries operate a satellite site in nearby Medford.
How to pronounce this? It is a tongue twister for this one but I got an A in Italian 110. In' standard' Italian as spoken in Tuscany, it sounds like sfo-ye-telly or tellah for just one. I ordered mine along with some cannoli. As the clerk went in the back room to fill my cannoli (should not be filled ahead of time as the shell quickly softens), another customer requested all the 'squee-delly' that were left. He appeared to be an Italian American. I asked him if that really is how they are pronounced. He and the woman helping him agreed that was what they were called. I then made sure my clerk had packaged mine before he cleaned the place out.

Later I looked up Italian-American pronunciation of this word. Lots of different ways including 'shvoyadell' but none corresponding to what I heard. Most Italian-Americans came from the south in which dialects are spoken.
Many from Sicily in which 'c's are replaced by 'g's and the last syllables are lopped off. So 'cannoli' sounds something like 'ga-knowl' and capicolla comes out 'gabuhgool' (at least on the Sopranos). I got many hits for NY and NJ Italian-American but none for MA Italian-American. I have to conclude they have their own language just like the weird version of English spoken locally in which 'r's are not pronounced in 'park the car' and their idea on how one pronounces a short 'a' is quite amusing.  I am well aware that some think the way Midwesterners pronounce a short 'a' particularly grating. Or maybe this guy just happened to mispronounce it and the clerk agreed with him as he seems to be a good customer.

And it was quite yummy as were the pignolli also purchased. The cannoli were for Shanna and Ramy.


Anonymous said...

Oh italian food is very tasty. Delicious. I have read that you have visited Italy. Nice. Have you been to other european countries?
I have the idea (perhaps i am wronG0 That food is important for you I shall learn you some really dutch words for really dutch food:

Boerenkool met worst
haring met uitjes

greetings Carla

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Hallo Carla
Yes food is important to me..maybe too important.
What is 'bitterballen'? The rest I have figured out though I am not a herring fan.
I do love 'hagelslag'.
I have been to Europe about 6 times
visiting England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain along with Italy. I've only been to the airport in the Netherlands though I would love to take a bike ride through the Netherlands and Belgium. Nice and flat.
Have you been to the US?

Anonymous said...

Hallo Sue,

A bitterbal is a snack.I can not explain it.You have to eat it.Perhaps when you bike through the streets of Amsterdam, You go to a pub and order a plate of bitterballen.Let it surprise you!!!

We (my husband and I) have never visited the states. We have been to germany, spain, france of course, belgium, austria. This year we plan to visit norway.
Last year, we were 25 year married, we went with our two sons and daughters in law to tenerife to celebreta. Was nice indeed. we saw dolphins and whales. Do you live near the sea? We do. i think in the eyes of americaind that we live everywhere nearbij because our country is so small. we live about 15 miles from the waddenzee, in the north of the netherlands, very flat, a lot of water, a lot of history,very quiet


Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I live in Michigan which is probably 900 km away from the nearest ocean. We are surrounded by the Great Lakes though the nearest one is around 100 km away. My daughter Shanna who I was visiting in Boston used to live right on the ocean but she moved inland recently.


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