What’s the point of having a blog if you don’t complain about things you find mildly irritating? Like people who pronounce mozzarella mozzarell, dropping the ‘a’ at the end. Worse yet are those who say mootsarell.

I had thought this was largely done by Italian Americans who wish to emsphasize their street cred: mozzarell, manicott, biscott, prosciutt, and so on. The vowel at the end is dropped — but is this affectation or authenticity? Turns out, it’s complicated. This from a 2004 New York Times story:

In some parts of Italy, the dropping of final vowels is common. Restaurant-goers and food shoppers in the United States ended up imitating southern and northern dialects, where speakers often do not speak their endings.

So, like many things, it depends on your neighborhood — but dropping the ending is not universally more Italian than pronouncing it.

Me? I’ll never do it, simply because when I say the words that way I feel like a stunad.

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