cacciatore » catchitore
Spotted in the wild:
- “For your Luncheon Pleasure: May 2005 Menu for the Sons in Retirement luncheon at the Fremont Hills Country Club: Chicken Catchitori” (Meyer newsletter)
- “Congrats to the filet mignon grilling, salmon fillet frying, chicken catchitore baking beast O lineman by the name of BIG CHEF MIKE!!” (link)
- “No meatballs huh? I can live with that. How about Chicken Catchatore, it goes so well as a side with spaghetti and the meat literally falls off the bones.” (link)
- “Chicken Catchatori Soup 3 cloves garlic 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 stems fresh rosemary 2 stems fresh thyme 8oz fresh sliced …” (link)
Analyzed or reported by:
- Ellen Meyer (University South News, Palo Alto CA, 28 December 2005)
One of the simple pleasures of Italian home-style cooking is the style of fricasseeing meat — most often chicken, though other meats can be treated in the same way — called, in Italian, alla cacciatora ‘hunter’s style’ or cacciatore or cacciatora (in French, chasseur). In food writing in English, cacciatore seems to be the most common variant, and there’s an alternative spelling cacciatori, in which the common pronunciation of word-final unaccented -e as /i/ in English is carried over into the spelling.
But four other spellings are not infrequent in English, and all involve the reshaping of the first syllable as catch; the spellings vary in how the medial unaccented vowel is spelled (i or a) and how the final vowel is spelled (e or i). All four are illustrated above. No doubt some of these occurrences are simply attempts at phonetic spelling in English, but I would imagine that at least some of these writers connect the word to the verb (or noun) catch: first you catch the chicken (or whatever), then you cook it. This would be lovely etymologically, since the English verb catch and the Italian verb cacciare ‘hunt’ have a common source in Latin capti:re ’seize’.