How to Properly Pronounce Orecchiette

One of my foodie quirks, is ordering anxiety. I’m afraid to pronounce foods incorrectly while traveling. Especially in Italy since my Husband is after-all, Italian!

Before our 90 days on the road trip, I obsessively studied to ensure I wouldn’t embarrass myself, or my Husband when ordering. In Puglia or Apulia, a region of southern Italy, my obsession was Orecchiette.

How to Properly Pronounce Orecchiette

Going in, I was like…. “Ok. I know, Orecchiette is from Puglia. I know, Orecchiette means little ears. I know a few traditional Orecchiette recipes and even how to make Orecchiette!”

What I didn’t know for sure, was how to pronounce Orecchiette. Bello and I often enter a round of ping-pong when I’m learning a new word in Italian.

I’ll attempt it “OR-E-Kedy.”

Bello “Orecchiette.”

Me “Orreckedy.”

Bello “Orecchiette.”

Me “Orecchetea.”

Bello eventually smiles. At that point I know, I’m close enough. At least an Italian will know what this American wants. Then later, when he’s not looking, I research until I find something that helps me nail it. I googled How to Pronounce Orecchiette… but come on, ôriˈkyedē?! Then, I found this and it helped!

There is something blissfully sweet and simple about the way pasta is made in Italy. Made with Durum flour, rolled by hand, dried on window screens, it’s classic!

How to Make Orecchiette

Orecchiette is made by rolling long ropes, slicing small pieces and rolling the pasta quickly between palm and thumb. This motion creates the cute little ear shapes and when cooked, makes the perfect cradle for sauces.

In Puglia, there is no Orecchiette substitute and it’s never called Orecchiette pasta, it just simply is, Orecchiette! And it’s delicious.

More Travel Foodie Stories: Agriturismo Italy’s Tradition of Serving Quality in Quantity, How We Bargained Our Way to the Best Paella in Spain, Lazy Cows Make the Best Cheese


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