Every now and then I have visions of some fried food my mother used to make. However, here I will focus on some words that may be useful when navigating Italian menus and also on some funny expressions.
If you fry something (nell'olio o nel burro, in oil or butter), it becomes fritto or fritta, depending on whether it is masculine or feminine, or fritti or fritte, if that something is plural. Here are some tasty examples:
- pesce fritto (fried fish)
- fritto misto (a combination of various fried items)
- salvia fritta (fried sage)
- fiori di zucca fritti (fried zucchini blossoms)
- patatine fritte (French fries)
Some items (like fiori di zucca) are dipped in batter before being fried and we call the batter pastella. A Wiener Schnitzel (cotoletta alla milanese) is breaded before being fried: it is impanata.
My three favorite fried foods are:
- supplì al telefono (typical of Rome, these croquettes are made with risotto seasoned with tomato and meat sauce, and they have a heart of mozzarella; they are breaded and fried and are eaten hot, so that when you take a bite, the piece in your mouth and the one still in your hands are joined via a thread of mozzarella)
- crocchette di patate (potato croquettes, which are rolled into flour, instead of breadcrumbs, before being fried; they are also eaten hot)
- fiori di zucca fritti.
One of the first Italian expressions I taught my husband is: sono fritto (literally, I am fried). Essere fritto means to be done for. We call empty words aria fritta (fried air). Una cosa fritta e rifritta is an old story, old news. I hope this post is not all old news for the readers.