You Say Pepperoni...

...and I say peperoni. It's one of the most common mistakes Americans make when referring to food in Italy, and it happened again in the New York Times last week. The article, Savoring Tuscany a Glass at a Time, opened with this (un) appetizing line: "If the idea of wandering through a village dating back to Etruscan times before stopping off at a family-run restaurant for a plate of pollo con pepperoni (chicken with peppers) and a glass of Chianti sounds good to you.."

Well, no, in fact, that doesn't sound good to me! Pepperoni is a spicy Italian-American variety of dry salami usually made of pork and beef, and is frequently used as a pizza topping in American pizzerias. Peperoni, on the other hand, is what Americans recognize as peppers, and what the recipe calls for. Chicken surrounded by those large circles of pepperoni one normally associates with take-out pizza on a Friday night? No thanks!

For those traveling to Italy who want to sample authentic pepperoni, ask for salame piccante, salamino piccante (spicy salami, generally typical of Calabria), or salsiccia Napoletana piccante, a spicy dry sausage from Naples.