Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You say Bruschetta...

Or, I hope you say bruschetta. That is, broo-sket-ta. Certainly not broo-shet-ta!

Most mornings when I open the newspaper I only notice how thin it has become. Or that I'm reading a story I read somewhere else 3 days ago. Or I wonder why so much of the newly thin newspaper is give over to covering high school proms.

But today was different. As I read through the food section, I shocked Pavel by saying,  "I'm going to send the Oregonian a thank you note." That made him look up from the business section. "What for?" he asked. I'm pretty sure he expected a sarcastic reply.

But I am genuinely thankful. Because today's Small Bites column tells people how to pronounce bruschetta, gnocchi (hint:  it's not noh-kee), and Sriracha.  I don't want to be too proud of myself. I tend to mumble the word Sriracha, so I did take note of  its correct pronunciation (shree-ra-cha).

You know that awkward moment, when you're in a restaurant--or just a conversation--and someone mispronounces a word like bruschetta, and you don't know how to respond? If you pronounce it properly, they may be embarrassed at their own mistake. Or worse, they might think you're an idiot for not knowing how to say the word! I'm hoping that the Oregonian has done a little bit to ease these moments.

Now if only they could do something about a few other words. My daughter complains about croissant, but I give people leeway on that one. Mainly because I find it impossible to pronounce properly. My stumbling word is crêpe. I know that one's been anglicized, and now rhymes with 'grape' rather than 'hep'. But I feel so silly saying crape!

Full disclosure. While I say crêpe, rhyming with 'hep', for the food and the fabric (crêpe de chine), I do say crape paper when I'm planning a celebration and need streamers. Which means I'm inconsistent. What did you expect.

How about you? Any food words you want people to say properly?

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