A pine-nut, not a perfectionist.

There are so many Italian words we use every day, from pizza to paparazzi, that don’t cause us any trouble at all. The word for pine-nut, however, is not one of them; we sprinkle chopped perfectionists into our pasta sauces in continuazione. Here’s what I mean:

pinolo (peen-oh-lo) is a pine-nut

pignolo (peen-yo-lo) is a perfectionist; a painstakingly meticulous, hair-splitting, persnickety sort of person; you know the type.

So you see, there’s a difference. It’s best to stick to pinoli when you’re cooking, and with the pignoli, well…abbi pazienza. And while we’re at it, it’s bru-SKET-ta, not bru-shet-ta; this is another ubiquitous error that drives me crazy! Please help reverse the trend.

(Now who’s the pignola?)

5 thoughts on “A pine-nut, not a perfectionist.

  1. Sara Rosso

    Ditto…A few times back in the States I’ve tried to “gently” correct/teach the servers at Italian restaurants the correct pronunciation of bruschetta – but let’s just say it’s not appreciated. I’m trying to be content with just correcting my family.

    PS: I am also a pignola.

  2. nan

    Still not a pignolo you make pasta sauce with though, right?

    Ah, Friuli; every time I sample a wine that peaks my interest these days, it’s a Friuli wine… Thanks, Shannon; looking forward to my first experience with a pignolo that you can drink. 😉

  3. marisa

    My husband has been correcting people for years with the word “bruschetta”–it drives him crazy the way people pronounce it in the U.S. But it seems to have caught on the incorrect way and no one wants to be corrected.


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