The Truth Behind “Italian Wedding Soup”

By Gabriella Mileti, NIAF Director of Programs

The mountainous regions of Abruzzo and Molise in Southern Italy are particularly rich in certain vegetables such as cardoons (similar to artichokes), fennel, salad greens like endive and chicory, and wild herbs such as dandelions and nettles.

All of these vegetables and greens are gathered in the fields during the spring and made into tasty soups, such as zuppa di scarola , also known as zuppa maritata (or minestra maritata). But, in American, you may know it as “Italian wedding soup.”

Yet, if you go to Italy, I can 100% guarantee you will never see this soup served at weddings. In fact, Italians will have no idea what you’re talking about.

So where is the disconnect? It’s all in the words.

The word maritata is the dialect word for “married,” since zuppa maritata is the marriage of the ingredients that go well together- whether it’s vegetables and beans, or vegetables and meatballs.

So, Italian wedding soup is the mistranslation of zuppa maritata, literally meaning married soup.

This entry was posted in Cooking, Italian, Italian Wedding Soup, Italy, Minestra Maritata, Soup, Zuppa and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s