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What is this Sicilian dish?
June 23, 2014 5:23 PM   Subscribe

I grew up with a Sicilian grandfather who was an amazing cook. As is usually the case with amazing grandparent cooks, he never wrote anything down. I know the recipe in general, I just don't know what to call it.

I remember eating this meat dish that is basically pounded beef/veal that is coated in bread crumbs and parmesan and then fried. We ate it next to spaghetti with home made sauce. I know the basic recipe, and I've found similar ones in several places online (it's delicious, by the way).

The recipes I've found refer to this as "Sicilian Breaded Steak" or something similar. We called it something like "googaletti". I'm pretty sure that this is not the correct spelling or even the correct name.

What is this dish really called in Italian? Any idea why my family calls it googaletti?
posted by stripesandplaid to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Cotoletta is the dish you describe. The letter "c" when followed by a vowel in Italian is often pronounced as a "g" (I don't know the exact rule). Your family may have just exaggerated the pronounciation a bit. It's like Tony Soprano saying "gabbagool" for "capicola," the Italian cured meat that he likes in his sandwiches.
posted by sockermom at 5:33 PM on June 23 [9 favorites]


Milanesa? (cotoletta alla milanese)
posted by saeculorum at 5:33 PM on June 23


Yeah, sockermom has it. My Sicilian family called them "cutlets" (the English translation of "cotoletta") and your family's variation is a totally believable Sicilian-dialect pronunciation of the Italian word.
posted by katemonster at 5:37 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


That makes sense. No wonder I had no luck googling. Thanks for the Italian lesson! :)
posted by stripesandplaid at 6:01 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


The letter "c" when followed by a vowel in Italian is often pronounced as a "g" (I don't know the exact rule). Your family may have just exaggerated the pronounciation a bit. It's like Tony Soprano saying "gabbagool" for "capicola," the Italian cured meat that he likes in his sandwiches.

This is a feature of certain southern Italian dialects (often by way of New York and New Jersey) to vocalize "c" to "g" and for vowels to be slurred or dropped (among other features). This is how pasta e fagioli becomes "pastafazool", for example.
posted by Tanizaki at 6:23 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]


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