Italy is one of the most amazing places I've ever visited. Italian food is incredible, the people are nice, and the weather is amazing. What more could a girl want? However, I couldn't help but notice that whenever I ordered biscotti with my morning cappuccino, the barista usually got a little smile on their face or even shook their head. Clearly I didn't know how to correctly pronounce "biscotti."

If you're from the US, you've probably heard "biscotti" pronounced in one of two ways: either "bis-cah-tee" or "bis-cot-tee." Unfortunately both of these ways to pronounce "biscotti" are incorrect.

What Is Biscotti?

chocolate, peanut, peanut butter
Isabella Alessandrini

When you translate biscotti from Italian to English on Google Translate, it means simply "cookie." However, in North America, biscotti is widely known as a specific type of cookie. Namely, a crispy oval-shaped cookie that often features dried fruits or nuts and is sometimes drizzled in chocolate. The word itself comes from the Latin word for "twice baked." 

It's likely that Italians baked the cookies a second time in order to dry them out and make them more durable to take on long journeys or even to war.

In 1858, a man named Antonio Mattei opened a bakery in Tuscany where he sold biscotti. His recipe is one of the first written recipes of the cookie. You can still visit the bakery, called Biscottificio Antonio Mattei, in Prado, Italy.

How Do You Pronounce "Biscotti?"

cake, bread, chocolate, sweet, pastry, cookie, banana
Sayuri Sekimitsu

Listen up, if you don't want to look like a fool while pronouncing this Italian word for cookies, follow my advice. Always pronounce the "o" in the word like "SKOHT" rather than "Aht." 

Therefore the correct way to pronounce "biscotti" is: "bee-SKOHT-tee."

If reading the word is confusing, check out this link to listen to it pronounced correctly.

Why Should You Trust Me?

chocolate, candy, cake, sweet, pastry, goody
Angela Pizzimenti

Okay, okay, you caught me. I am not even remotely Italian. I am, however, a big fan of learning about languages and other cultures. I am an International Affairs major, after all. I also eat my fair share of Italian foods.

One key aspect of the Italian language is the way vowels are pronounced. The o in "biscotti," for example, should be drawn out to sound like "oh" rather than the hard "o" in English.

Also, in most Italian words the stress falls on the second to last syllable, which in this case is the "SKOHT" part of "bee-SKOHT-tee" which is why I capitalized that part of the word.

Lastly, despite the fact that she tends to over-pronounce most Italian words, Giada de Laurentiis actually does a pretty great job pronouncing "biscotti."

If you can't trust me, try trusting this Italian food icon on the best way to pronounce "biscotti."

Now that you're armed with the confidence to pronounce "biscotti" correctly, I urge you out in to the crispy, nut-filled world that it offers. Whip up your own biscotti at home, buy some at the grocery store, order some at Starbucks—the world is your biscotti-shaped oyster. 

And, if you ever travel to Italy, make sure you don't embarrass yourself (like I did) by mispronouncing this iconic cookie.