Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Don't Hate Giada's Accent

I am probably the only Food Network watcher who likes Giada's Italian pronounciation.

I studied Italian pretty seriously in high school. The Italian language was my passion. My teacher for the first two years was a woman named Mrs. Miscella. She was born in Italy and still had a little bit of an accent. She taught my class the rigors of enunciation in the Italian language. Each consonant is pronounced distinctly. Every vowel is pure with no dipthongs. Any dipthongs are spelled out with more vowels. That is the proper way to speak Italian and it didn't matter to my teacher that I was American. I had to say the words correctly.

I also learned in class just how much Italians are amused at American accents. They think Americans who speak Italian with lazy consonants and vowels with diphthongs where no diphthongs exist are the funniest thing. I remember watching an Italian movie in class where two of the characters were American tourists who spoke Italian. Even I was laughing at how ridiculous their American accents sounded. Imagine how funny it must have sounded to an Italian.

Giada DeLaurentis was born in Italy. She grew up bilingual speaking Italian with native speakers. Since she came to the US as a child, she speaks with no Italian accent, but she speaks Italian as a native speaker would. There is nothing incorrect about her Italian. She speaks it the way I learned to speak it in school. Her consonants are crisp and her vowels are pure. She should not have to apologize for that or give herself an American accent just to please the audience. Every time someone complains about Giada's accent I want to just scream, "Yo, Ignoraumus, THAT'S ITALIAN."

I have come to the conclusion that Giada really is my favorite FN cook. It's not her accent or lack of it that makes me like her. I don't even care about her on-camera presence (she doesn't have much really). The size of her head and the low-cut tops don't bug me that much. I get the impression that she's not a nice person in real life. She's always so mean on The Next Food Network Star. I like her for one simple reason. I like her food.

The opinion on Giada's cooking skills seem divided. Some say she knows what she's doing. Others say she really knows very little. I've never been to the Cordon Bleu, so I really have little background to judge her on how well she uses a knife or if her techniques are correct. I know that she can bake and she is willing to make dishes that take time and effort. She doesn't use shortcuts when a dish requires time to be good.

So I like her Italian, but I don't like her on-camera presence or her off-camera attitude. There is one reason and one reason only why I watch her show. I like her food. She makes things that I would make and I would eat. Giada's Family Dinners is currently one of my favorite cookbooks. My recipe file at the Food Network website is filled with Giada recipes. Her Farmer's Pasta is a standby for potlucks. Her Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Roast is a must for special dinners and holidays. As a roast chicken addict, I love her Garlic and Citrus version. (Take that Rachael Ray. People do still cook whole birds.) She has lots of great inspiration for sides, salads and pastas. If her technique isn't perfect, well neither is mine. I watch Everyday Italian and know that I can do what she does and eat what she cooks.

Everyone needs to lay off of Giada about the Italian accent thing. If you like to eat her food, then shut up. (Of course if you don't like her food, complain away about her food.)


trcunning said...

My problem isn't that she has an accent, it's that her accent is language specific. Which seems to be the reason you like her accent, but I was always taught that in correct speech you either pick one language to use exclusively or you identify foreign words as you use them.

To me spuh-ge-tee is the English word for spa-get-tee. Just as vodka is the Engligh word for водка (voot-ka).

I would be perfectly happy if only she'd say something along the lines of, "Today we'll be making my favorite salad with apricots & ham or, as you'd say in Italian, le albicocche & prosciutto.

Anonymous said...

Giada is a good chef and all but her pronunciation makes me want to put a bullet in my head. She is inconsistent like make up your mind. Either talk italian all the time or no accent at all dont just catch us off guard with a retarted pronunciation you crazy dwarf

Anonymous said...

But she isn't pronouncing Italian words correctly. Italian has long vowels but she pronounces everything with short little vowel sounds. It's just wrong. Listen when her mother or aunt are on the show with her. They pronounce everything very differntly that Giada does. plus, she's a bitch and a lousy cook.