Decoding The Italian Menu’s Hard-To-Pronounce Words

We’ve all experienced that silly awkward moment while ordering at an Italian place –  that’s right – the fake-it-till-you-make-it stumble through five syllable words and consonants that actually sound like vowels. The “I can’t pronounce anything on this menu” moment.

We’ve been there. And we’ve got your back. Below is a handy cheat sheet of often creatively pronounced Italian words, so that next time you can sound smoother than a bowl of gorgonzola-gnocchi-con-prosciutto-cotto.


Gnocchi – Nyoh-Kee

Soft, pillowy dumplings that are commonly made from kneading flour, egg, cheese, potato, and semolina into small ovals

Ours are house-made, pan-seared golden, and served with fresh ricotta, tomato, artichoke and basil in a white wine sauce


Arancini – Arr-An-Chee-Nee

Golden, crispy rice croquettes made from rolling risotto and cheese in breadcrumbs and frying to perfection

Ours are made with mushroom risotto, mascarpone and served with truffle aioli to dip


Farfalle – Fahr-Fah-Lay

In Italian, the word farfalla means butterfly, which gave the commonly known “bow-tie pasta” it’s name

Ours are tossed with roast chicken, wild boar bacon, red pepper and tomato in a basil pesto sauce


Focaccia – Foe-Kah-Sha

A traditional Italian bread that is soft and fluffy on the inside and with a golden crust, often topped with herbs, salt, and olive oil

Ours is house-made with sea salt and served with olive oil butter and balsamic reduction


Carpaccio – Kahr-Pah-Tchee-Oh

A dish of raw meat or fish, thinly sliced or pounded thin and served with flavourful garnishes

Ours is thinly sliced and topped with fingerling potato chips, capers and garlic aioli


Prosciutto Di Parma – Pro-Shoo-Toh

A dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked

Ours is stuffed into crispy veal milanese with Friulano cheese, served with lemon arugula salad

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