Food and Phonetics Sicula style

Italian is a highly phonetic language. This means that each sound is almost always graphically represented by the same combination of letters. When Italian children learn to read, they are taught the alphabet and then it’s downhill all the way.  A six year old who starts the ‘Prima Elementare’ in September, can usually read by Christmas.  Many years ago, I noticed that my son applied the same technique whilst writing his Christmas list to Santa in English.  The video ‘Toi Stori 2’  was at the top of the list, followed by ‘Spaider Man’ and finally ‘Star Wors’.

A new restaurant called ‘FUD’ has been recently opened in the heart of Catania by Andrea Graziano, an energetic, innovative and enterprising lover of food, who will rise to any challenge. The menu is phonetically written in English and there is a wide choice of Burgers including a ‘Chicchen Burger’, ‘Eg burger’ and an ‘Ors Burger’, (yes, they eat horse in Catania). There is also a selection of Pizzas and Salumeria.   You may choose to sit either at the bar or in the dining area, which is simply furnished with a long communal wooden trestle table and several surrounding tables which can comfortably seat four.


We joined some friends who were sitting at the refectory style table, and after promptly being presented with the menu, Ciro chose the Buffalo Burger and I the ‘Cis Burger’.  Although Andrea gets his inspiration from abroad, he focuses on sustainability and all the products are Made in Italy with 90% of the ingredients Made in Sicily, so my burger came packed with 170g of local beef, Ragusana cheese, organic mayonnaise, locally grown lettuce, tomato and extra virgin olive oil and was easily the best cheeseburger I’ve tasted for a long time.  Our meals where served reasonably swiftly on a slim wooden board with no cutlery,  so we followed the instructions chalked on the blackboard to ‘iusiorans’.  We chose a bottle of our ‘Uain’ from the extensive list, although ‘Aus Uain’ was available and a bottle of sparkling ‘Uoter’.

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The well-known sister restaurant, “Il Sale Art Café” was opened ten years ago by the Graziano family in the art gallery bearing the same name, but gaining popularity, it began to draw  increasingly more consumers than there were tables available.  When Andrea saw customers hanging around patiently in the street outside,  he started to think  of ways in which he could make their wait more comfortable and decided to renovate a property adjacent to ‘Il Sale’ in order to provide somewhere for customers to have an ‘aperitivo’ whilst waiting for a table to became available.   However, his idea grew and clients can now not only have an pre-dinner drink, but also lunch and supper and there is also a take away service available.


We had decided to arrive early, which was wise,  as when we left, the bar area in the entrance was packed with patient customers waiting for tables and the queue spilling out into the street, where there were also several  people lingering hopefully outside ‘Il Sale’.  Owing to Monti’s austerity measures, the Catanese are tightening their belts and cutting back on spending, but despite this, Italians have a strong set of priorities and ‘FUD’ is one of them.

Via Santa Filomena, 35
95129 – Catania, Italy

Tel:             +39 095 7153518


About Stephanie Biondi

Brought up in Nigeria and sent to Boarding School in England. Has been in Sicily since '91 teaching English and producing award winning wines on Mt Etna with her husband Ciro Biondi since their first vintage in '99.
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3 Responses to Food and Phonetics Sicula style

  1. Phil says:

    It’s pretty rare that two of my favorite subjects (food and linguistics) are written about in the same blog! Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try this place when I finally get back home.

  2. Kevin Ecock says:

    Love this post. I’ve copied it across to my Facebook so that the rest of (my) Ireland can read…

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