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Salem, VA 24153

Learn About the Italian Lexicon

Mamma Maria’s Invites You to the Italian Lexicon

This month, Mamma Maria’s will explain the Italian lexicon. In order to understand the history of Italian cuisine, it’s essential to understand the basic vocabulary. Doing so will give you a deeper appreciation for the Italian lexicon. We love sharing our passion for Italian food with our Salem, VA, customers. Here are a few Italian food terms translated for your convenience:

Al Dente

This term’s literal definition means “to the tooth.” Kitchens most commonly use this term when cooking pasta, vegetables, or other ingredients not meant for overcooking.


Italians use the term antipasti when referring to appetizers such as cured meats, cheeses, olives, and bruschetta.


This Italian food means “little orange.” Arancini is the name of the delicious deep-fried risotto balls. They contain peas, ragu, and mozzarella, along with other combinations.


You see this term on menus when referencing pizza. Bianca usually contains parmesan cheese.


The Italian definition of this term means “hunter.” In recipe terms, it means “hunter style chicken.” Dishes usually include wine, herbs, peppers, tomatoes, and onions.


While small, Ceci has a significant meaning. Ceci means chickpeas or garbanzo beans. Chefs use it in soups and pasta.


Chefs make this special salad made out of toasted bread and tomatoes.


Don’t confuse this term with a popular pizza topping. Peperone means “peppers.”


This word translates to “re-boiled.” It’s a Tuscan soup that includes some type of leftover bread, beans, and vegetables.


To learn more about the Italian lexicon, reach out to Mamma Maria’s today at (540) 389-2848, or contact us online. Residents in and around Salem, VA, can also like our Facebook page to check out our culture. We are proud to educate Salem, VA, and surrounding areas about the Italian lexicon.