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  #1  
Old 07-11-2012, 09:43 PM
Recusant Recusant is offline
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A question on pasta.

Hi! I'm new here, and while I think this is the right place for this thread, feel free to move it if I'm wrong.

Now then- having traveled all over the country (the US) and been grocery shopping in much of it, I've noticed something rather odd that I'm wondering if I'm alone in: pasta shells and wheels. That they're sold as shells and wheels, that is- every other form of (Italian) pasta out there is named in Italian. Granted, you'll sometimes see capellini as 'angel hair', and there may be other minor exceptions, but on the whole, it's these two and just these two. Since my Italian dictionary doesn't identify the words for shells or wheels as anything especially difficult to spell or pronounce, I imagine this is more a matter of simple marketing than something deeper, but I can't help but wonder.

Of course, this could be a question of my mistaking the decisions of a few large brands for a nation- and industry-wide trend. After all, this is just a personal observation. But has anyone else picked up on this? Is it the same in other (English-speaking, mostly) countries? And does anyone have the any idea why?
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2012, 09:56 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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I can swear I've seen the wheels advertised with an italian name on the box, at least once. Perhaps not.

Shells always do seem to be shells!

I wish I could have been more helpful!
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:13 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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For what it's worth, I've got a box of shells, and it's labeled Barilla (which is the brand name) Jumbo Shells Conchiglie Giganti. I live just outside Fort Worth, Texas. I'm pretty sure that I've seen wheels labeled in Italian, too.

<moderation>And since this deals with food and language, I'm going to move it from In My Humble Opinion over to Cafe Society.</moderation>
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  #4  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:13 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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I always see rotelle as rotelle, not wagon wheels.

Shells, OTOH....
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  #5  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:14 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Conchiglie and rotelle? I feel like I see the names on packaging from time to time. Granted, brands like Kraft might not put the Italian. Rotelle is easy to pronounce. Conchiglie is not, it has a least a few letter-phoneme pairings which are which aren't common in English.

Con-chhh-ih-glee?
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:28 PM
carnut carnut is offline
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Now I'm going to have to travel down the pasta aisle and take a look. Too bad I already did my shopping today.

The local brand, Creamette, always lists shells as shells. They also offer rings. I don't recall an Italian name on that package either.
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  #7  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:37 PM
VOW VOW is offline
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I don't speak Italian, but it's my understanding when you have the "gl" in a word, the "g" is silent.

Conchiglie = conch-ee-li-ee is my best guess.


~VOW
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  #8  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:14 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOW View Post
Conchiglie = conch-ee-li-ee is my best guess.
More like "con-keel-yay" I'd say.
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:33 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOW View Post
I don't speak Italian, but it's my understanding when you have the "gl" in a word, the "g" is silent.

Conchiglie = conch-ee-li-ee is my best guess.


~VOW
Yeah, I know. Mine was quoting the average middle American.

"ch" is "k" sound before i or e. Before a o u a "c" will suffice.

"gl" is a sound that doesn't quite occur in English. It's a palatal lateral approximant. Biffy's one is how it's usually explained.

And vowels are very regular, e.g. "i" is "ee" not "ih."
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:57 PM
zoid zoid is online now
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Yep, it's shells = conchiglie and wagon wheels = rotelle
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2012, 12:28 AM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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I've always pronounced them con-KEE-lee.
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2012, 01:23 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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How Italian words are pronounced depends on which major Italian city the speaker is from. For instance, Prosciutto is pronounced differently in New York from the way it is pronounced in Philadelphia or Boston.
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  #13  
Old 07-12-2012, 01:59 AM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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For shame. You can't name the nearby major Italian city with a history that dates past the Renaissance apparently, Providence? Or New Haven?

In parts of New York the pronounce capicola "gabagool," so I wouldn't put much stock in some pronunciations. 3/8 letters ain't bad.
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  #14  
Old 07-12-2012, 02:06 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
Con-chhh-ih-glee?
More like "con-KEEL-yeh."
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  #15  
Old 07-12-2012, 02:13 PM
OtisCampbellWasRight OtisCampbellWasRight is offline
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[QUOTE=In parts of New York the pronounce capicola "gabagool," so I wouldn't put much stock in some pronunciations. 3/8 letters ain't bad.[/QUOTE]

I believe the word that you described as "gabagool" is written as "cavetelli" here in America. You also need to be careful in that pronuciation as it's close to a pretty bad word in some Italian households.
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  #16  
Old 07-12-2012, 02:52 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is online now
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Elbows, anyone?
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  #17  
Old 07-12-2012, 03:06 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtisCampbellWasRight View Post
I believe the word that you described as "gabagool" is written as "cavetelli" here in America. You also need to be careful in that pronuciation as it's close to a pretty bad word in some Italian households.

"Gabagool" is "capicola." (ETA: As I see thelurkinghorror has already explained.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 07-12-2012 at 03:07 PM..
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  #18  
Old 07-12-2012, 03:07 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtisCampbellWasRight View Post
I believe the word that you described as "gabagool" is written as "cavetelli" here in America. You also need to be careful in that pronuciation as it's close to a pretty bad word in some Italian households.
Nope, gabagool is capicola, a meat. Googling suggests the cavatelli pasta is called (spellings vary)" "gabadeel," "gavadeel," "gavadill," etc. So they could sound very similar in a Sicilian accent filtered through English with a large helping of New England accent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Elbows, anyone?
Good point. "Gomito" might be the word?

Last edited by thelurkinghorror; 07-12-2012 at 03:09 PM.. Reason: typo
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  #19  
Old 07-12-2012, 03:56 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is online now
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Conchiglie are sometimes called orecchiette (little ears).
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  #20  
Old 07-12-2012, 04:01 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Elbows, anyone?
Gomito and Stortini, looks like.
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  #21  
Old 07-12-2012, 04:05 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Conchiglie are sometimes called orecchiette (little ears).
Close, and maybe vaguely separated, but compare 1 and 2. The latter is much less curved. And not ribbed for her pleasure, although I'm not so sure that's a conchiglie requirement.

I've only seen orecchiette sold under that name. But then I don't see it that much. Maybe Trader Joe's?
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  #22  
Old 07-14-2012, 10:51 PM
BigT BigT is offline
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I can at least come up with a reason not to use rotelle--you'd get it mixed up with something that's not quite salsa.

At least, when I look at it, I would assume the word was pronounced ro-tell, as if it were French, instead of the Italian pronunciation of ro-tell-lay. Surely I'm not the only person who refers to Rotel by brand name, right? (I didn't even know it was a brand, to tell the truth. I assumed it was a Spanish word.)
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