Everybody knows that the US aren’t most famous for their haute cuisine. Food is a big part in the lives of people here but unlike European countries such as France and Italy, it is not appreciated a lot. Cafeterias and take-away restaurants predominantly offer fried or otherwise unhealthy food. There is little to argue about that. But that I knew before, what I noticed since I arrived here is the following peculiarity.
What is a peperoni? In German it is also known as Paprika and it is a very popular vegetable. So, there I was the other night at 2am and tried to order a salami pizza. It was right in front of me and I told the person behind the counter that I would like a slice of salami pizza. I pointed at it too. He was confused at first then probably thought I was intoxicated. Which I was but had nothing to do with the misunderstanding we had. He told me, “so you want the peperoni pizza”. I again said, “no that one, the salami pizza”. He didn’t seem too happy about me as a customer pointing at one thing saying another. One way or another, he gave me slice of pizza with salami on it and said “There you go, pepperoni!” I received my salami pizza. I talked to a couple of people from Europe about it and I am not the only one who was confused. It seemed to be very obvious to the locals. Apparently, pepperoni is salami in the US. After I did a proper research on Google, I found that Wikipedia has quite a good explanation on the issue. Here are the most important parts:
Pepperoni, also known as pepperoni sausage, is an American variety of salami, usually made from cured pork and beef. Pepperoni is characteristically soft, slightly smoky, and bright red in color. Thinly sliced pepperoni is a popular pizza topping in American-style pizzerias.
The term pepperoni is a corruption of peperoni, the plural of peperone, the Italian word for bell pepper. The first reference using pepperoni to refer to a sausage dates to 1919. Throughout continental Europe, with the exception of France, peperone is a common word for various types of capsicum, including bell peppers and a small, spicy and often pickled pepper known as peperoncino or sometimes peperone piccante, peperoncini or banana peppers in the U.S.
Well, that explains a lot.
How are you doing?
Another peculiar thing is that people greet you with “Hi, how are you doing?” That is strange because no one seems to care how I am doing but still they ask as if they were good friends. At school you are even taught sometimes to say it that way, it makes you sound more American. Well, I don’t like it. I always just say hello. It is weird though, to answer a question with “Hello”. The expression has no sincere meaning behind it. That is probably a reason for the over-usage of the word “really” around here. If people actually want to know how you are doing, then they need to ask “How are you really doing?” It turns out that there are plenty of other ways for saying hello in the US.
Hi / Hey / What’s up? / Sup? / How’s it going? / Howdy / Well hello! / Yo! / Greetings! and the best of all “Look what the cat dragged in!”