Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Due espressi doppi
No, it's not Snow White speaking to one of the dwarves, it's how you order two double expressos in Italy. They have to be doubles because Italian coffees are served in thimble-size cups, and if you want the coffee to cover the bottom of the thimble you have to ask for a doppio. If you want normal size 'gnat's piss' coffee, you either say Americano or whatever is Italian for 'Can you please direct me to the nearest Starbucks'. In England, the drink of preference for truck-drivers is a pint mug of tea with lots of milk and eight sugars, so when Brits see a couple of burly Italian truckies belly up to the bar and order, drink and pay for their thimbles-full of coffee in one nanosecond, they're reminded of that scene where Bob Hope slouches into a western bar, pushes cowering customers out of the way, and orders a glass of milk. As they look on in astonishment, he adds 'In a dirty glass'.