Friday, March 7, 2008


Eat dinner with an Italian-American and you just might learn something. I was recently served a wonderful dinner at a friend's house that included an item I had never heard of: taralli. Some call them Italian pretzels. I call them yummy.

They are a great alternative to ordinary bread on the table, and are delightfully crunchy. They served as a perfect accompaniment to the antipasti.They also contrasted nicely with the tender pasta, in this case a steaming bowl of strozzapreti ("priest-stranglers") with sausage. Mangia!


Tai said...

Etymology of priest-stranglers?

Jeffrey Stock said...

Well, the name means literally "priest stranglers" or "priest chokers." I kind of assume it is due to the rope-like shape of the pasta, combined with a general anticlericalism in Italy. But I suppose it could originate from the idea that a priest could enjoy the pasta so much that he eats it too fast and chokes on it.