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Risotteria


Sandra Levine
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To the best of my very limited musical skills, my pronounciation policy is (taken from RFC 793): "be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send", which seems to be just the opposite of what most Americans do.

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But that's different. Paris is the English word for the place (I made that up.) It just happens to be spelled the same way. But lets look at the French word for London, Londres. Nobody would ever pronounce it in an anglicized manner. You would have to pronounce the O like a U and roll the R. And we would never call the city Nice, nice, like have a nice day. So it can't just be that it's an anglicized spelling. It has to be that the word for risotto is the same in English as it is in Italian and that is what gives rise to an anglicized pronunciation. But then again, I just made that up too but it sounds right.

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Steve, the thin pasta you mentioned is called taglierini. If I'm not mistaken, it's a handmade egg pasta, or pasta sfoglie.

Apropos of pronunciation, I once heard that guy on tv with the gray goatee and the glasses ("The *something* Gourmet) refer to its cousin, tagliatelle, as tag-lee-uh-tellee. I turned it off there and never watched again.

I have heard risotto called riso, but I've taken it to be nearly a slang; a very colloquial usage, more like ris'o, the way Gio is short for Giorgio. If you ask for it this way, you'd be well advised first to be sure you're in the right setting and speaking to the right person, and you'd better be prepared to continue in seamless local conversational Italian.

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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"Real risotto" is made by gently stirring 5 cups of chicken stock, etc. into the rice with a wooden spoon.

Not exactly. The amount of liquid the rice will absorb will vary depending on the type of rice, its age, the humidity and so forth. It will absorb much more liquid than rice made in the ordinary manner. You start out by sweating some finely chopped onion in butter. When the onion is translucent, you add the rice and stir it until each grain has been coated with butter. In the meantime, you have brought some not-too-salty broth to the simmer. Using a ladle, you pour some of the broth into the pan with the rice. Let it sit for a few seconds. Then, begin stiring, making sure your spoon touches the bottom of the pan so the rice does not stick. You want the liquid to bubble slightly, but not to completely evaporate. The point is to allow the rice to absorb it, after all. When the rice is pretty dry, add some more broth and continue stirring, as before. Continue stirring and adding broth until the rice reaches the al dente stage and the grains are suspended in a creamy sauce, still a little wet. This is the time to add the greated parmiagiano-reggiano. Stir in the cheese. Stop stirring and listen to the rice. It will tell you when it is ready. I mean it. There is a definite sigh and whisper.

This is the traditional way to make risotto. You may add a few strands of saffron to the broth if you want to call it risotto Milanese. The rice should be finished in 20-30 minutes.

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I thought you toast the rice in a dry saute pan for a few minutes to bring out the nutty flavor. That also cook sthe exterior shell a little to give it a smoky flavor. That way the rice stays firm as the liquid is absored. But I might be dreaming in that I remember that about the technique.

Risotto in Milan is much more then adding saffron. The entire texture is different then what we are used to here. It's so firm that you can almost eat it grain by grain. It's much dryer then what you described and a lot less gloopy then the risotto you get in the U.S.

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I learned to start by cooking the soffrito until the onions are translucent, then add the rice and stir, letting it "toast" as Steve says for a couple of minutes. Next goes 1/2 cup of white wine, stirred in 'till absorbed, then one cup ladles of simmering stock are added and stirred in 'till each is just absorbed. This process takes about 15 more minutes. Then remove from heat and stir in saffron (if Milanese), a large piece of butter and a little cream, mixing until the whole is creamy, but the grains are separate and crunchy but never gloppy. Each grain of rice is like a little nut that you can chew by itself. Add cheese and chopped parsley, ground pepper to taste. Total time from going on heat to coming off heat is 19 minutes on average. I sometimes add toasted pine nuts as a garnish.

The stock can be chicken, fish, mushroom, or beef/veal depending on the condimento/condimenti. When using shrimp, I add the shrimp shells to the fish stoch and reduce to produce more shrimp flavor. Lobster shells add great flavor too.

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But that's different. Paris is the English word for the place (I made that up.) It just happens to be spelled the same way. But lets look at the French word for London, Londres. Nobody would ever pronounce it in an anglicized manner. You would have to pronounce the O like a U and roll the R. And we would never call the city Nice, nice, like have a nice day. So it can't just be that it's an anglicized spelling. It has to be that the word for risotto is the same in English as it is in Italian and that is what gives rise to an anglicized pronunciation. But then again, I just made that up too but it sounds right.

The word is Paris. If you speak French, you pronounce it one way. If you speak English, you pronounce it another way unless you have an affectation that compels you to pronounce foreign words the way foreigners pronounce them (which is very annoying -- a person is speaking in normal English and then coughs out a foreign pronunciation with rolled "r"s and an s/z sound that we don't have in English, usually accompanied by a vigorous twist of the neck and a brief bout of standing on tiptoes, before going back to normal English; this is something that you can only get away with if you're a native speaker of the foreign language in question). It's not two different words that are coincidentally spelled the same, like they could have called it Dogbreath but they just happened to choose P-a-r-i-s at random. Risotto is also just one word, and there's a way it is pronounced in Italy (though it varies by region). If you speak English, you can pronounce it one of at least three ways and still be correct. And I'm not making this up. :raz:

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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For words that are in common English usage, I favor English-language pronunciations. Do you pronounce Paris par-EEH?

Yeah. Like if you live in Great Neck or in Joisey, its "Yum Kipper". If you've got a place in the Hamptons, its Yom Kee-Poor.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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That's the preferred pronunciation in British English dictionaries, though American English dictionaries go with basically the Spanish pronunciation.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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For words that are in common English usage, I favor English-language pronunciations. Do you pronounce Paris par-EEH?

Yeah. Like if you live in Great Neck or in Joisey, its "Yum Kipper". If you've got a place in the Hamptons, its Yom Kee-Poor.

Right, because us peasants use Yiddish pronunciations like our grandparents did, while the rich reform Jews use modern Hebrew.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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For words that are in common English usage, I favor English-language pronunciations. Do you pronounce Paris par-EEH?

Yeah. Like if you live in Great Neck or in Joisey, its "Yum Kipper". If you've got a place in the Hamptons, its Yom Kee-Poor.

Right, because us peasants use Yiddish pronunciations like our grandparents did, while the rich reform Jews use modern Hebrew.

A rabbi is out of town on Yom Kippur. Since nobody knows who he is, he decides to play a round of golf. Up in heaven, God sees him and decides to punish the rabbi for his transgression. However, before God does anything, Moses stops him and says, "Let me take care of this." God thinks about it for a moment and says "Ok."

The rabbi tees off on the first hole, and from above, Moses causes the ball to be a perfect hole in one. This is repeated for the second hole, the third hole, in fact, for every hole on the course. The rabbi has hit a perfect game.

God turns to Moses and says "I thought you were going to punish him?", to which Moses replies, "Who's he going to tell?"

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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For words that are in common English usage, I favor English-language pronunciations. Do you pronounce Paris par-EEH?

Yeah. Like if you live in Great Neck or in Joisey, its "Yum Kipper". If you've got a place in the Hamptons, its Yom Kee-Poor.

Right, because us peasants use Yiddish pronunciations like our grandparents did, while the rich reform Jews use modern Hebrew.

You know better, FG. Israelis and those who learned from them also pronounce it as if they had a house in the Hamptons and/or were rich reformed Jews.

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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Yom Kipper is not a "yiddish" pronounciation. Is an adaptation of Hebrew created by and used by Ashkenazi Jews. It is NOT "yiddish."

And FG, I'm surprised at you and your ridiculous comments about the supposed affectations assumed by those who choose to pronounce foreign words correctly. Let's say somebody is a native Italian speaker, but lives in the US for years and jumps between the languages easily. If that person pronounces risotto correctly, is that somehow affected in your book? Let's say an American goes to live in Italy for years and learns fluent, native-like Italian. He/she should come back to this language-ignorant country and "dumb down" by pronouncing things the way Amerikuns do, in general?

Funny - I assume you have no trouble correcting misinformaiton about food accuracies, ingredients, integrity of cooking, authenticity, etc - yet the same doesn't apply for language. It's reverse snobbery at its best, and just where you happen to like it to be. You think, in fact, that for example there are standards of appropriate dress, and you have certain expectations about appropriate dress, and you reject the argument "oh well this is how society is moving" - so why not the same for language? You could easily move the argument to English words, too - the English language is declining in quality all the time - and sure, I've heard the argument that language is not static, that it changes over time - of course it does. But if I have the ability to use English correctly, shouldn't I? Why is foreign language any different? You think I'm going to say "axe" instead of ask or "necks" instead of next, even if I think I'll be better understood? No way. So why would I say riz-oh-doe if I have the ability to say risotto? Wouldn't that be the the height of pretension?

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R. Schonfeld: Yes, that's why I referred to it as "modern Hebrew."

Nina: As I said, for native speakers of a language I don't consider it an affectation. For you I do. I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but you have a troubling habit of 1) correcting people's use of language on this site and 2) being wrong. Number 1 is irritating enough, but coupled with number 2 it's downright disrespectful. Do us all a favor and next time you offer up a correction on portobello or minutiae or risotto check with a dictionary first so that your offered correction is at least correct, if you feel compelled to do it at all. This is a food site, and correcting erroneous factual statements about food is part and parcel of what we're here for. Correcting people's use of the language in general is offputting. And in terms of snobbism and reverse snobbism, just to make it clear: Anglicizing or Americanizing a non-English word is an entirely acceptable and long-standing linguistic practice. It is not tantamount to acceptance of slang or improper grammer. It's just English. As for the "yum kipper" pronunciation, having studied both Yiddish and Hebrew (ancient and modern) at advanced levels I believe I am entirely correct in referring to it as the Yiddish pronunciation.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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There are lots of long-standing practices that you and I both would rather didn't exist. That's a silly argument.

Wasn't it you who just this morning, or maybe yesterday evening, correct Robert Brown's use of something linguistic?

And you're wrong about the Yiddish. Perhaps Yiddish-SPEAKERS pronounce HEBREW that way, but it ain't Yiddish. It's Hebrew. An Ashkenazi pronounciation.

For example, when people say baruch asaw adownoi instead of baruch atah adonai, it's not the "yiddish" pronounciation - it's Ashkenazi Hebrew - and only some piece of Ashkenaz adopted that pronounciation of Hebrew, by the way.

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Nina, as I understand it, yom kippur is yom kippur in Ashkenazic and Sephardic/modern Hebrew. There are no pronunciation differences on those letters as between the two. It's only "yum kipper" in Yiddish. If you have a source that demonstrates otherwise, please feel free to bring it forward. As for my correction of Robert Brown earlier today, as you know it was a culinary issue: He confused yellowfin and yellowtail. That's the kind of correction that is appropriate for this site. And I would like to add that I tried to be as polite as possible about it such that it was a constructive correction rather than an obnoxious act.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I believe, FG, that I didn't correct anyone's pronounciation of risotto. I didn't even bring the subject up. Somebody asked what Wilfrid meant by Americans' mispronounciation, and I added my opinion.

I'll work on the Yiddish/Hebrew/Ashkenazi source thing.

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Are we talking about food here ? You know what they think of us gaijins' when we try to even communicate half - decently ?? BON might illuminate.

The nuances of linguistics can be debated at the CUNY Linguistics and Speech brownbags :biggrin:

anil

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