Word of the Day: Assaggiare

Assaggiare (ah-ss-ah-djah-rai) is one delicious verb: it means to taste, or try out, food. You may be familiar with expressions like fammi assaggiare! (Let me try it!) or assaggia la pasta prima di scolarla (try the pasta before draining it), typical of all Italian kitchens. If you had the luck to grow up with an Italian grandma, then you probably have fond memories of when she’d let you taste the sugo while it was still simmering on the stove, by dipping a generous piece of bread in it: “assaggia, e dimmi se va bene,” she’d say (taste it and tell me if it’s good), and it was always, always perfect. 

 

Assaggiare is also a bit of a hipster word these days, because we all want to “assaggiare” new delicacies, try out new culinary trends: mi piacerebbe assaggiare la cucina mediorientale, (I’d like to try middle eastern cuisine) or andiamo ad assaggiare la birra artigianale di quel pub (let’s go try the artisanal beers that bar serves). 

 

But assaggiare has a long history behind: it was used for the first time in the 13th century and it is the compound of ad- and saggiare, which means to experiment: it seems the association between  food and creativity typical of Italian cuisine is visible even in the words we use for it!

Questo e' il formaggio d’alpeggio: assaggialo, è buonissimo

This is a new mountain cheese: try it out, it’s delicious. 

Hai già assaggiato la torta di mele di Michele?

Have you tried Michele’s apple pie, yet?

Assaggia il sugo per me e dimmi se va bene di sale.

Taste the sauce for me and tell me if it needs any more salt.

 

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox

SPONSORED

Recommended

Word of the Day: Salve

Salve (sahl-vai), is a strange Italian word indeed. It is a Latin word — no, it “does not come from” Latin, it actually is Latin! — whose use is...

Expression of the Day: Roba da matti

“ That ’ s crazy! ” is probably one of the best translations you can get for our roba da matti ( roh-bah dah maht-tee), but you can also use “...

Word of the Day: Come No

Literally, come no (co-mai noh) means nothing. No, seriously: “like no.” That’s the literal meaning of the words. But in practice, it’s one common...

Word of the Day: Scusa

Scusa ( sk-oo-sah), is just as ubiquitous in the Italian language as its translation, “ sorry , ” is in English, and it is used in the exact same way...

Word of the Day: Tormentone

In Italy, there isn’t a word as typical of Summer as tormentone (tohr-mehn-toh-nai). Our dictionaries say the word, which comes from the verb...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues