Mozzarella, cappacola and ricotta

How do you pronounce these Italian-American classics?

This article, written by Peter Genovese, appears on

You may take one look at that headline and ask, “What do you mean, how to speak Jersey restaurant Italian? Everyone knows how to pronounce gnocchi, cappacola and cavatelli.”

Not like an Italian, they don’t.

Being one myself, I know something about these things, but quickly discovered, in my epic search for N.J.’s best Italian restaurant, that even Italians have different pronunciations for basic Italian dishes.

Pasta fagiole is “pasta fazool,” right? Not so fast. Several chefs pronounced every last syllable – “fa-gee-o-li.” Others pronounced every letter in “cavatelli,” not the widely accepted “cavadeel.” And try getting even five Italians to agree on how to pronounce “cappacola.”

Cappacola? Cappacol? Gabagool? Gabaculo?

“You do know that ‘culo’ means ‘behind’ (posterior) in Italian, right?” asked Andrea DiMeglio, chef at Luca’s Ristorante in Somerset.

I do now. Read more at…

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