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Italian Food Expressions in Everyday Life


Italians have a saying for every situation. However, it is no surprise that those associated with il cibo, or food, and la cucina, or the kitchen, seem to be the most widely utilized in day-to-day communication. Moreover, food seems to be a very popular method through which to convey the themes of love and luck in everyday Italian life. Below are just a few examples you may find interesting.

Italians have a saying for every situation. However, it is no surprise that those associated with il cibo, or food, and la cucina, or the kitchen, seem to be the most widely utilized in day-to-day communication. Moreover, food seems to be a very popular method through which to convey the themes of love and luck in everyday Italian life. Below are just a few examples you may find interesting.

Love

Ad ogni pentola il suo coperchio 

(For every pot there is a lid)

When taken in the context of love, this saying implies that for every person there is a mate.

Come il cacio sui maccheroni

(Like cheese on maccheroni)

Now this saying doesn’t necessarily imply love, but rather two things that are meant to be together. These circumstances can be anything from a mundane situation, like cheese on pasta, to the perfect outfit!

This phrase, originally used in Medieval Rome over a thousand years ago, insinuates a precursor to the now-popular pasta dish cacio e pepe.

La minestra riscaldata 

(Reheated soup)

Used in informal contexts, when a second attempt to rekindle a relationship was unsuccessful, people refer to it as “reheated soup.” It is something you didn’t like before, and not surprisingly, you won’t like again the second time you try it.

Essere tutto pappa e ciccia

(To be like mush and meat)

Literally "pappa" is a popular word for baby food, or mush, and "ciccia" is a colloquial word for meat. When two people are said to go together like pappa e ciccia it means that they are very chummy with one another. Very similar to the English expression, “Two peas in a pod”.


Luck

Cadere a fagiolo

(To fall like a bean)

More difficult to translate in English, this saying can be shortened even further to va a fagiolo, or a fagiolo. Back in a time when beans were picked by hand, they could be identified as ready to pick when they were lightly touched, and fell into your hand. As a result, this can be equated to a favorable well-fitted situation, that was maybe also unexpected.

Siamo alla frutta

(We are at the fruit) 

During a typical Italian meal, the fruit course occurs at the end. Therefore, saying siamo alla frutta in conversation highlights there is not much more one can do about a situation, accompanied by exhaustion and lack of energy needed to pursue other ways for solving an issue. Taking it a step further, this statement can also be used to say that things are going poorly, often in reference to a financial situation.     

 

Without a doubt, food is a powerful source of inspiration for many Italian proverbs as they reflect entrenched attitudes about love, life and human nature.These and many other sayings communicate a message with wisdom and humor as they continue to be widely utilized in modern Italian language.

Love

Ad ogni pentola il suo coperchio 

(For every pot there is a lid)

When taken in the context of love, this saying implies that for every person there is a mate.

Come il cacio sui maccheroni

(Like cheese on maccheroni)

Now this saying doesn’t necessarily imply love, but rather two things that are meant to be together. These circumstances can be anything from a mundane situation, like cheese on pasta, to the perfect outfit!

This phrase, originally used in Medieval Rome over a thousand years ago, insinuates a precursor to the now-popular pasta dish cacio e pepe.

La minestra riscaldata 

(Reheated soup)

Used in informal contexts, when a second attempt to rekindle a relationship was unsuccessful, people refer to it as “reheated soup.” It is something you didn’t like before, and not surprisingly, you won’t like again the second tim

Essere tutto pappa e ciccia

(To be like mush and meat)

Literally "pappa" is a popular word for baby food, or mush, and "ciccia" is a colloquial word for meat. When two people are said to go together like pappa e ciccia it means that they are very chummy with one another. Very similar to the English expression, “Two peas in a pod”.


Luck

Cadere a fagiolo

(To fall like a bean)

More difficult to translate in English, this saying can be shortened even further to va a fagiolo, or a fagiolo. Back in a time when beans were picked by hand, they could be identified as ready to pick when they were lightly touched, and fell into your hand. As a result, this can be equated to a favorable well-fitted situation, that was maybe also unexpected.

Siamo alla frutta

(We are at the fruit) 

During a typical Italian meal, the fruit course occurs at the end. Therefore, saying siamo alla frutta in conversation highlights there is not much more one can do about a situation, accompanied by exhaustion and lack of energy needed to pursue other ways for solving an issue. Taking it a step further, this statement can also be used to say that things are going poorly, often in reference to a financial situation.     

 

Without a doubt, food is a powerful source of inspiration for many Italian proverbs as they reflect entrenched attitudes about love, life and human nature.These and many other sayings communicate a message with wisdom and humor as they continue to be widely utilized in modern Italian language.

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