Ordering in a Deli

Old Mar 4th, 2014, 05:08 AM
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Ordering in a Deli

I will be in Bologna and Rome next month and would love to order food for take out - cheese and/or meat. Can anyone tell me how to order (in Italian) a quarter pound or a half pound? For example - a half pound of pecorino cheese? Or - a quarter pound of mortadella? Thanks!
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 05:14 AM
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You don't order in pounds in Italy.

Either use 500 g ("cinquecento grammi") or 1/2 kg ("mezzo chilo") for a pound. The common unit to use for smaller amounts would be the etto, which is 100 grams: "un' etto" = 100 g, "due etti" = 200 g etc.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 05:37 AM
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Be sure to practice your pronunciation:

gabagool, brazhoot, rigot, mutzadel...

Or maybe not
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 05:38 AM
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LOL pounds.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 05:47 AM
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A kilo is 2.2 pounds; 500 grams would be a little more than one pound; 250 grams would be approx 1/2 pound; 125 grams approx 1/4 pound.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 06:41 AM
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Personally, I'd use etto/etti
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 06:54 AM
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<i><font color=#555555>"LOL pounds."</font></i>

I fail to see what is so funny. The OP specifically asked for pound figures "(in Italian)."

Many tourists don't know what an <i>etto</i> is, and they don't don't know how to convert ounces to <i>etti</i>. For smaller weights of food items in Italy, it helps to know your numbers in <i>etti</i>. Here is my approximate breakdown:

uno etto = 3.5 ounces
due etti = 7 ounces
tre etti = 10.5 ounces
quattro etti = 14 ounces
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 07:21 AM
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NYCFoodSnob - Thanks so much! This is exactly what I was looking for. I do understand that food is not weighed by the pound in Europe. But I was confused by units of measure less than one pound. So if I wanted 7 ounces of mortadella - I would ask for due etti mortadella! Thanks!
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 08:00 AM
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BomDia: it's mootzarell or mortadel and riggut, not rigot.

At least that's how my neighbors pronounced it. But I'd not use the Sicilian-emigre-in-America pronunciation in Bologna.

Bab: check out this site for more info. It works for etto/etti (note, Italian plurals don't end in s).

http://www.convertunits.com/
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 08:26 AM
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BigRuss: Thanks
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 08:31 AM
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My trick when I don't know the measurements is to say (in Italian or Spanish or whatever) "enough for 2 people" or hold my fingers to show the size of the stack I'm after. that's always worked for me.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 08:45 AM
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This is an interesting thread.

I would write the amount on a piece of paper and hand it to the person so you don't get 4 pounds of whatever!

Is there a word for portion or slice? Such as if you want to buy a slice or portion of quiche or tart?
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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Thanks everybody for your comments and feedback. I'm going to add the following to my trip notes and want to make sure I have it right. Can someone confirm?

Ordering Cheese/Meat

100 grams = 3 ounces (un etto)
200 grams = 7 ounces (due etti)
300 grams = 10 ounces (tre etti)
500 grams = 1 pound (cinque etti)
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 10:58 AM
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"One slice" is "una fetta", but Italians don't order "slices" of cake or pie. You would say, "one portion", "una porzione", or "one piece", "un pezzo". Two would be "due porzioni" or "due pezzi".
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 10:59 AM
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You're close enough for government work. You're really dealing with about 3.5 oz/100g.

28.35g = 1 oz
454g = 1 lb
500g = 1/2 kilo = 17.6 oz
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 12:00 PM
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A pound is 500 g to Europeans. The American pound is lighter.
And saying "mezzo chilo" is more common than "cinque etti", but the latter will be understood.

When ordering for example prosciutto, asking for x slices ("fettine") is not uncommon, and makes sense if you want it for a takeaway picnic because it will be cut and ready to put on bread. Take into account that they usually cut it very very thin so you may need a couple more than you estimated.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 12:03 PM
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bvlenci - Thanks!

BigRuss - I'm glad I'm close. I'm just trying to get enough cheese for a taste - or a sandwich!!
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 01:21 PM
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Or just get a good looking pre-made sandwich.
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 02:33 PM
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 02:34 PM
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I hear the Boloney in Bologna is tops? True?
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