Eat This! > Food Words > How to Pronounce Bruschetta

How to Pronounce Bruschetta

Last updated on July 12, 2007

BruschettaEvery time I order bruschetta in a restaurant and pronounce it properly (brusˈket.ta) the server invariably says, “Oh, you mean the brushetta?” Then they look at me as if to say, “You poor, uncultured little thing.” It happened again last night.

I wouldn’t care how they pronounced it if they didn’t correct me in that annoying way. Isn’t it maddening when you pronounce something properly and someone corrects you?

Attention all restaurant servers in America and anyone else who wants to know:

“ch” in Italian is always pronounced with a hard “k” sound. (Think chianti, pinocchio, and zucchini). Being part Italian and having lived there I can guarantee you that it is not pronounced with a “sh” sound.

If you choose to pronounce it wrong that’s your choice, but please don’t correct paying customers who know the proper way to pronounce it! Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

It is worth noting that in Italian, bruschetta is pronounced [brusˈket.ta], though in English-speaking countries it is commonly mispronounced. The noun “bruschetta” is from the verb in the Roman dialect “bruscare,” meaning “to roast over coals.”

So there you have it. You snotty restaurant servers can “chiss” my ass!

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17 Comments on "How to Pronounce Bruschetta"

3 years 1 month ago

I know this is an older article, but I LOVED reading it because it happens to me all the time and not only with bruschetta but with a bunch of other words – bresaola, provolone, parmiggiano being some of the most mispronounced ones – and I had to write this, regarding the last comment. Liz, you are wrong. I believe the rule you are referring to is “ci” pronounce “chee” and “sci” pronounced “she”. “ch” is pronounced k. ALWAYS. Also, italians and italian-americans are two (very) different categories of people.

5 years 10 months ago

I’m Italian as well, and I’m pretty sure the rule is that ch is pronounced “k” unless there is an “s” before it which changes the sound to a “she” (and that’s she, not shee)

…I’m almost positive this is the rule… but not 100%.

Think about it: Chianti, Pinocchio, zucchini… none of those have an “s” before the “ch”.

6 years 24 days ago

This is great … I was making bruschetta this weekend and pronouncing it correctly and my sister kept correcting me over and over with the ‘sh’ sound bruschetta. I have sent her this blog .. hee hee hee! Thank you! I am going to ask her next if she would like a Zushinni .. :-p

6 years 1 month ago

Thank goodness for you! I have been waging this silent battle with mispronouncers for years and have never felt like I had allies. My husband won’t even mend his pronunciation of the word based on my knowledge of the language…sheesh.

6 years 1 month ago

Thank you; this happens to me every time I eat out, and it irks me to no end!

6 years 2 months ago

This has happened to my husband as well, who is 100% Italian. I’d like to correct the server, but I am always afraid of offending him/her. Who knows what they will do to your food…

Reminds me of another one I hate. When people say “I-talian”, you know, with a long I instead of a short one. I just want to ask, “Oh, you mean from I-taly?”

6 years 3 months ago

I am glad that I’m not the only one who gets corrected when i say the word correctly!! Still, even IF someone pronounces a word wrong,I think that no restaurant employee should ever correct a customer! (i once worked in a French bistrot, & heard”mispronunciations” of amost every item,but just took the order, smiled, and no one’s feelings got hurt!

6 years 3 months ago

I KNOW! I’m a server, and we just put some bruschetta on the menu. I get in a fight every day with the cooks and so far I’m the only person in the restaurant that knows the proper way!

6 years 6 months ago

Same thing happened to me at Carraba’s Italian Grill, I thought the lady had some nerve epecially because I knew I was right. It drives me crazy when you work at an Italian restaurant and you can’t even pronounce the food correctly.

6 years 8 months ago

I almost thought it was as what it was written, pronouncing it with “ch” like c in cello…good to know! Will never get it wrong again.

7 years 1 month ago

It’s worse when an ITALIAN-American corrects you with the wrong pronunciation.

My advice: Just ignore it and laugh at them when they’re gone.

7 years 5 months ago

I totally agree and one of my pet peeves. Especially when the server does look at you in a condescending manner. I don’t understand why it occurs but take the same server to a Spanish/Mexican or taco bell and they roll their R’s and think they are hispanics all of a sudden. Chef Boyardee may have made his name an American staple but Italy has more to offer than that and really bad version of pizza.

7 years 9 months ago

Exactly the same situation has happened to me – over here in Australia.

Ordered bruschetta with the “K” sound, as I’ve always known it to be in my italian studies (plus being from a portuguese background.. the ‘ch’ is also a hard “K”)

My mouth must of dropped slightly when I had the waitress tell me “Oh no, your not pronouncing it right at all! its bruShetta!” to rub it in… she repeats it a second time (as if to follow) “… bruShetta!”

well I was left in total amazement when she abruptly walked off with the order and pretty annoyed at being looked down, especially as I consider my pronunciation of Italian to be on the ball.

Thanks for clearing up the fact! :)

7 years 11 months ago

This happened to me and my husband tonight. My husband ordered, and the waiter said, “the brushetta?” And I told him that it was actually pronounced “brusketta” because it’s Italian. When he served it, he pronounced it correctly.

8 years 1 month ago

I couldn’t agree with you more! It bothers me to no end to go to a *supposedly* Italian restaurant for supper, order the ** brusˈket.ta **, and have the server repeat back to me, “Oh, you’d like the bruSHetta?”


On top of it, this *always* happens at one particular restaurant we’ve been to several times…the name of that restaurant? (it’s a chain in Canada) — Chianti’s.


I swear, next time we go there and order the *brusˈket.ta*, when they repeat it back to me incorrectly, I’m going to stop and ask them how they pronounce the NAME of their restaurant!!

When they say, “Kianti’s”, I’ll reply, well, if you don’t pronounce “Chianti” – “Shianti”, then you shouldn’t be pronouncing *brusˈket.ta* – “bruSHetta.”

Is it too much to think the info would get around to all the wait staff at the restaurant?! Oh…probably….

Anyway…Thanks for your excellent post! It totally made me laugh out loud, as I could picture it all happening….it’s happened to me so.many.times!

8 years 2 months ago

Thanks for the lesson. I´m not a server, I´m Swedish, and we pronounce “sch”
like “sh” in shoe. I shall never do that again.

8 years 2 months ago

That bugs me, too! I hope when it happens, you tell them exactly what you wrote here.