Italian Food Glossary


Italian Food Glossary

(Source: Bottiglia Cucina Enoteca Facebook page)

Italian food glossary

Everything sounds better in Italian, including food terms! But while words like arancini, burrata, and osso buco sound wonderful, do you know what they actually mean, or what types of foods they are?

To help you better understand what it is you’re actually ordering, we’ve assembled a glossary to some of the terms you’ll find on Bottiglia Cucina Enoteca’s menu. Here, you’ll find a list of some of the often-confusing terms on our menu, with definitions for each. Armed with this newfound knowledge, you’ll be ordering like a pro in no time, and may just be inspired to try some new things!

henderson italian food(Source: Bottiglia Cucina Enoteca Facebook page)

Antipasti: Antipasti (singular term: antipasto) is traditionally a first course at an Italian meal. Antipasti dishes might include olives, pickled vegetables, cured meats, cheeses, or other light and simple appetizer-type fare.

At Bottiglia, some of our delicious antipasti offerings include Big Eye Tuna Tartare (made with grilled peach and calabrian chili, and served with hazelnuts), Char Grilled Octopus (made with blood orange vinaigrette, black garlic yogurt, mint, and lemon bread crumbs) and Crispy Calamari (served with garlic tomato sauce).

henderson italian restaurant

(Source: Bottiglia Cucina Enoteca Facebook page)

Arancini: If you’ve never tried arancini, you’ve been missing out. These are stuffed rice balls which are coated with bread crumbs and then deep fried. The rice may be seasoned in any variety of ways, and the balls can come in a variety of sizes. At Bottiglia, our irresistible arancini can be found on the antipasti menu, and include risotto, fontina cheese, and Bolognese sauce.

Burrata: A type of fresh buffalo milk cheese, made of mozzarella and cream. The outer portion is mozzarella, and the inside is a cream mixture, which gives it an extremely unique texture: the soft exterior gives way to a thick, creamy interior. It’s absolutely delicious! At Bottiglia, you can enjoy it in our Burrata & Tomato Caprese salad, composed of marinated heirloom tomatoes, torn burrata, pistachios, and aged balsamic.

Crostini: This is a term given to small slices of grilled or toasted bread, which are often served as an accompaniment or topped with other ingredients. At Bottiglia, you can find crostini on our antipasti menu offering of Prosciutto Carpaccio, which is made with arugula, oven roasted tomato, white balsamic, balsamic glaze, and served with crostini.

Fra’ Diavolo: Literally translating as “Devil Monk,” Fra’ Diavolo is a term given to refer to a spicy sauce which is served with pasta, typically seafood-based dishes. At Bottiglia, our Lobster Fra’ Diavolo features spicy cherry pepper and lobster cream sauce for a truly addictive dish.

Frutti di mare: The Italian term frutti di mare means “fruit of the sea,” and refers to seafood. While this is less of a specific dish, it might be applied to the fish section of our “fish and seafood” menu.

henderson italian salad

(Source: Bottiglia Cucina Enoteca Facebook page)

Insalate: This is the Italian term for salad. On the Bottiglia menu, our salads include the Burrata and Tomato Caprese salad detailed above in the “burrata” definition, as well as Chopped Salad (featuring radicchio, olives, ceci beans, pickled shishito peppers, salami, and provolone), and a Caesar Salad (made with creamy parmesan dressing and focaccia croutons).

Panna cotta: Panna cotta means “cooked cream” in Italian. This dessert is made by cooking cream with sugar and gelatin (and other flavorings) to make a thick, velvety and completely crave-worthy dessert. At Bottiglia, we serve an unforgettable Strawberry Panna Cotta, which is served with lemon thyme pound cake.

Piatti: Literally translated, piatti means plate. However, it’s often used to refer to a plate of food, rather than the actual dish it rests upon. For instance, on the Bottiglia menu, you’ll see that a portion of our menu is called “Pasta e Piatti” which means “pasta and plates,” as in this is the section of the menu devoted to pasta and other plates of main dish type fare.

Polenta: Polenta is, simply put, ground cornmeal which has been cooked. Often treated like a grain, it is often cooked low and slow with liquid and aromatics until it attains a porridge-like texture. Polenta may be served as-is, formed into shapes or patties and baked, or used as an ingredient in other dishes. At Bottiglia, polenta is featured in one of our dreamiest side dishes, Lobster Polenta, which is made with mascarpone, Maine lobster, and chives. It’s also featured in our Veal Osso Buco (detailed just below).

Osso Buco: This classic Italian dish is made with veal shank (usually containing marrowbone), slow cooked in wine with vegetables and seasonings. At Bottiglia, our unforgettable Osso Buco is made with Sangiovese wine, creamy polenta, and mirepoix (a French mixture of vegetables).

Salumi: This is a general term given to sliced, cured meats which are served as an appetizer when enjoying an Italian meal. At Bottiglia, you can get a salumi experience with our antipasti misti appetizer, which includes a variety of meats as well as cheeses, olives, marinated peppers, and more.

Zuppe: In Italian, zuppe means “soup”. Simple as that! On our Insalate e Zuppe menu, you’ll find an incredible Italian Wedding Soup, which is made with meatballs made from pork and parmesan, and features escarole and white beans. It’s a hearty and delicious soup!

Now that you’ve received an education in Italian food terms, put your newfound knowledge to work! Join us at the best Italian restaurant Green Valley Ranch has to offer: come visit Bottiglia Cucina Enoteca today!

What’s your favorite Italian food term?