So you think you like Italian cuisine eh?
You think your chicken parm and your pineapple pizza make you an expert in the greatest food culture in the world huh?
Well let’s see if this conversation between Vinny Lombardo, Italian-American from Secaucus, New Jersey and Giuseppe Genovese, an Italian from just outside Pisa, Italy, helps provide you some perspective.
Vinny: “Hey, I’m taking you to this local place that’s amazing, traditional Italian food, best spot you can find, so you can tell me what you think of dishes you eat every day”
Giuseppe: “That sounds lovely, let’s go, can’t wait!”
Vinny: “So are you up for a little pasta?”
Giuseppe: “Absolutely, love some good pasta!”
Vinny: "Ok, spaghetti with meatballs then?"
Giuseppe: "Scusami? Never seen it in my life on a menu. Not even once."
Vinny: "Umm. . . ok, then - how about fettuccine Alfredo?"
Giuseppe: "I have no idea what that means, is he the chef?"
Vinny: “Ok, I see pasta isn’t your thing… what about a quick Italian sandwich?”
Giuseppe: “(looks at the picture) That’s not even a sandwich, that’s a panino”
Vinny: “Panino? No, this is panini (points to a sandwich in a panini press)”
Giuseppe: “First of all panini is plural, that would be a panino. Also that’s not a panino, that’s a toast”
Vinny: “A… toast? Ok, let’s just eat some fish. Do you want a traditional cioppino?”
Giuseppe: “Cioppino? A chop? It’s the first time I hear of that. What is it?”
Vinny: "It's a fish stew, tomatuh-broth, served with those little pieces of bread? Doesn't ring a bell?
Vinny: “Ok… A good lobster Fra Diavolo?”
Giuseppe: “I swear if you’re trolling me I’m gonna punch you”
Vinny: “No it’s a delicacy, it’s traditional”
Giuseppe: “We almost don’t even have lobsters, they’re very expensive, it’s considered a deluxe food, how do you prepare them?”
Vinny: “Well they chop it up, drench it in super spicy sauce and add spaghetti”
Vinny: “Ok, so maybe some other sea food with Fra Diavolo sauce?”
Giuseppe: “It’s not a thing, I have never heard of a Fra Diavolo sauce in Italy”
Vinny: “Alright, alright. Chicken parm then?”
Giuseppe: “What even is it?”
Vinny: “Listen, this is taking too long, let’s just order some bread so we can eat something, ok?”
Giuseppe: “Works for me”
Vinny: “Is garlic bread fine?”
Giuseppe: “Garlic bread?”
Vinny: “Yeah, it’s a bruh-sheh-tuh…”
Giuseppe: “It’s brew-skay-tah”
Vinny: “Ok, whatever. It’s a bruschetta with garlic, you should be familiar with it”
Giuseppe: “Yeah that’s not a bread, it’s like an antipasto, never seen it ever”
Vinny: “Fine, a Caesar Salad?”
Giuseppe: “Not Italian”
Vinny: “Ok, so a simple salad with Italian dressing?”
Giuseppe: “For the love of all that is holy, what is an Italian Dressing?”
Vinny: "Alright, I give up, let’s just eat pizza, does that work for you?
Giuseppe: "Sure, finally, pizza is absolutely ok"
Vinny: "Alright! We have an amazing pizza here in Chicago…"
Giuseppe: *begins making the sign of the cross and praying for Vinny's salvation*