Usually when I go into a cafe or bar to get something to eat, I can’t recall the names of the various items on offer. It’s a common problem, I expect. I get by, but a usual conversation might be;
Me: “Two of these please…”
Shop person “What, these sfincione? Anything else?”
Me: “Yes, three of those things..”
Shop person “Cornetti with lemon cream? Ok, anything else?”
Me: “Two of these…”
Shop Person “Grafa with nutella? Is that all?”
so on and so forth. It seems every time I ask for something in any of the myriad sweet things that Sicilians indulge in every day, in any of Palermo’s gazillion bread or sweet shops, it’s got some historically important name and I’m just a stupid foreigner because I don’t know what that name is.
So today I decided to learn something new, and whilst ordering some biscuits with jam on, I asked “Excuse me, but what do you call these?”
And I was met with a blank look; “What, these? You call ’em biscuits with jam!”
I give up.