When I lived in England, bananas were my favourite fruit. But I have to admit that I was never a big fruit fan until I came to live in Italy. I still like bananas of course, but the variety of really fresh and tasty fruit available here leaves me spoilt for choice. Plus, I now have my own apricot tree, from which I can pick fruits that resemble little globes of liquid honey, infatti mi fa venire l’acquolina in bocca solo a pensarci! (in fact my mouth is watering just thinking about it!) Most Italians prefer their fruit ‘Made in Italy’, and when you consider the amazing topographical and climatic variety of the Italian peninsula, from Sicilia in the south to the Pianura Padana (Padana Plains) and the Alps in the north, you’ll see why we are able to produce such a large variety of fresh fruits all year round.
The banana is one of the few fruits names that is written and pronounced (more or less) the same in both English and Italian, the only difference being the pluralisation: banana (banana), banane (bananas). Other fruits that share the same name in both English and Italian are: kiwi, which in Italian doesn’t change when pluralised: un kiwi, due kiwi (one kiwi, two kiwis), and avocado which also doesn’t change in the plural: due avocado (two avocados).
Now let’s have a look at the Italian names of some other fruits:
albicocca, plural albicocche = apricot/s
ananas, plural ananas = pineapple/s
anguria, plural angurie = watermelon/s (also known as cocomero/i)
arancia, plural arance = orange/s
caco, plural cachi = persimmon/s, sharon fruit (the singular caco is colloquial, officially the name should be cachi, or kaki in both the singular and plural)
castagna, plural castagne = chestnut/s
ciliegia, plural ciliegie = cherry/cherries
cocomero, plural cocomeri = watermelon/s
dattero, plural datteri = date/s
fico, plural fichi = fig/s
fico d’India, plural fichi d’India = prickly pear/s
fragola, plural fragole = strawberry/strawberries
lampone, plural lamponi = raspberry/raspberries
limone, plural limoni = lemon/s
mandarino, plural mandarini = mandarin oranges
mela, plural mele = apple/s
melagrana, plural melagrane = pomegranate/s
melone, plural meloni = melon/s
mirtillo, plural mirtilli = blueberry/blueberries
mora, plural more = blackberry/blackberries
nespola, plural nespole = loquat/s
pera, plural pere = pear/s
pesca, plural pesche = peach/peaches
pompelmo, plural pompelmi = grapefruit/s
prugna, plural prugne = plum/s
ribes nero/rosso (doesn’t pluralize) = blackcurrant/redcurrant
susina, plural susine = plum/s
uva (doesn’t pluralize) = grapes
uvaspina (does not pluralize) = gooseberry
Here’s a little challenge for you: Name, in Italian, the fruits in the two photos above. If you’re feeling brave you can post your list in the comments section.
Allora, qual è la tua frutta preferita?
(So, what’s your favourite fruit?).