You Can’t Hear The Difference

Pretty much everyone in North America knows peperoni, that mildly spicy Italian sausage that is the first meat you would add to a pizza. I usually take my pizza with just sauce and cheese, but if I want a little variety, I ask for pepperoni. But not in Germany.

What a difference a “p” makes. Especially when you can’t hear it.  I didn’t order the peperoni option when I first saw it on a local menu. I like to see how a pizzeria does with the basics before I add toppings. Yes, I do believe it is difficult to have too much meat, but for pizza it is good to start with the cheese option.

I say it was lucky I didn’t order peperoni, because it turns out that wasn’t a typo on the menu (and you probably thought I had made an error in this and the preceding paragraphs). Does a missing “p” make a difference?  You’d never notice it if you were speaking.

Turns out there is indeed a big difference between pepperoni and peperoni. The version with one less ‘p’ is not meat. It is a little pepper.

Given that I don’t voluntarily add vegetables to pizza, it is good that I didn’t ask for peperoni when I first saw it. I should probably also repent of my silent laughter at the person who proof-read that menu. They had it right, I had it wrong, it really is peperoni here.

I haven’t yet come across a place that has pepperoni on the pizza menu, but that’s okay, I go with salami instead. That’s definitely not a vegetable.

Sometimes it seems, the cultural differences are little ones. One small letter can make a big difference in taste.


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