Confusion on the Menu: A Peachy Fish

A little pesce and some pesche for you?

peach and fish in italian language

I came to Italy for the first time in the mid 70s,. The coliseum, like most of the Roman architecture exposed in the Eternal City, was black with soot, ominous makeup sprayed on via the outpourings of snarling buses. Not to mention that the lackluster food lacked the attention it is given today. Things were different then.

I knew a bit of French as well as a few words of high school Spanish. Not much Italian, just what I’d read on the train from France. None of this adventure terrified me. After all, I’d been to Portugal.

Well, there was that war with the Italian menu…

One night I had nightmarish thoughts upon leaving a restaurant. Did I order peaches for a main course? Did the kitchen erupt in the unheard laughter at the expense of the idiot tourist? I simply read off the menu, didn’t I? What did I say? More to the point: what did the Italians think I said?

What was the problem lurking in my panicked mind? Simple: pesce and pesche, fish and peaches.

Who would ever mistake those two words? Who wouldn’t see pesce on the menu and mumble to the waiter pes’-kay? Peaches.

Now I am older. Un uomo anziano. I know a fraction more about Italian words. I know the difference between fish and peaches in two languages: a fish and peaches / un pesce e pesche. Do you?

Just so you aren’t terrified at making a tiny miscue like mistaking a fish for a peach, here’s Carlotta saying due pesci, two fish. One of which is a una pesce. Playing the sounds below will set you right:

And the same for peaches: Due pesche. Una pesca.

If you’d like to learn more about Italian food words and ordering in a restaurant, you might want to check out our sister site Italian Menu Master and the article about frequently mispronounced food words.

More About Italian Food

Spaghetti alla Nerano and its Derivatives

Fava Beans: The Time in Italy is Spring

Lunigiana Saffron: Terre di Bigliolo

Panettone and Other Christmas Cakes

Typical Christmas Menus in Modern Italy


Confusion on the Menu: A Peachy Fish originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: Aug 28, 2022 © .

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