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The silence of the cheese

Posted by on August 24, 2011

We have vines drooping with tomatoes and overflowing pots of basil in our garden, so naturally I am thinking about mozzarella today, the third ingredient in a caprese salad.

It is my understanding — and taking a few Italian classes by no means makes me an expert, so don’t quote me on this or anything — that in Italian, a doubled-up letter in a word indicates a pause. In “mozzarella,” you let your mouth form the “z” sound and then pause for a split second before you let it out. You speak the “l” but hold it a bit longer than you normally would. Mo…zzarelllla. I can’t stop picturing this word as a long string of itself, sliding off a pizza slice.

Words and food, food and words. It’s kind of all I’m interested in these days.

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