Italian Food Facts: Cappuccino

Pouring CappuccinoCiao ragà! It’s time to learn some more cool stuff about the Italian foods (or beverages, in this case) that we all love.

Hot n’ frothy! No, it’s not the name of an adult film … well, actually it probably is … but that’s not the point! Today, we’re talking about cappuccino!

Ok, so you know what a cappuccino is, right? Sure you do! You’re a card-carrying citizen of planet Earth! How could you not? But do you know the meaning behind the word “cappuccino”. No, no you don’t. That’s why you need me.

The word “cappuccino” means “little hood” in Italian. No, I’m not talking about a small urban area known for its tough streets. I mean “hood” in the, “head covering attached to a sweatshirt” sort of way.

Capuchin MonksThis famous Italian coffee concoction got its name because of its light brown color – the result of the espresso and steamed milk coming together. This shade of brown is the same as the one found on the robes of the Capuchin monks, they themselves being named after the hood on their robes. See the connection? There are tons of pictures I could show you of real Capuchin monks to illustrate this point. I, however, have opted for the salt and pepper shakers that my grandparents used to have.

These sure bring back memories!

These sure bring back memories!

A few more quick points on cappuccini (note the correct plural form in Italian is “cappuccini” and not “cappuccinos”):

  1. Good luck trying to order a cappuccino in Italy after 11 am or (horrors!) after a meal! That’s sort of against the rules here. Something to do with Italians believing that milk will block your digestion.
  2. Have you ever gotten a cappuccino with cinnamon on it? Mamma mia! It’s good stuff! Try it!
  3. There are some real cappuccino artists out there. Baristas who decorate the top of the cappuccino with the foam or cocoa powder. It always puts a smile on my face when I order one and it comes with a little extra care put into its aesthetic quality. Here’s a few examples of cool cappys!
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13 thoughts on “Italian Food Facts: Cappuccino

  1. Hey Garrett, it’s funny: my grandma too used to have a pair of those funny Cappuccini salt and pepper shakers in her kitchen 🙂 OMG, my little boy memories… it’s all comin’ back to me now…

  2. Fascinating! Someday I will be in Italy and try to order a cappuccino after my meal and will remember this exact blog post when I get a dirty look in response. Thanks G!!

  3. I remember learning that lesson in Bologna after our huge pizza outing with your 20 million friends…sorry if I shamed you G, but it was sooooo worth it. Cap’s just aren’t the same in the US.

  4. Biggest cap faux pas I’ve seen would have to be pizza and cappuccino consumed simultaneously. And well after 11am! Would not have done the pizza or the coffee any favours. Looking forward to your next installment!

  5. Great post, love the pictures of the artistic cappuccini. It’s hard enough getting a decent one over here, never mind with style. Oh well, good excuse to pop over more often 🙂

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