Sometimes people pronounce things wrong, and by my estimates, that’s about half of you lot. The word in question is our beloved chicken parmigiana, or the humble parma.
Say it aloud. Say parmigiana in your best Italian accent. Now have a crack in your usual bogan accent. You just said parma. Twice!
I concede that an actual Italian might pronounce it differently, but no Matthew, you don’t have your nonna’s accent, nor her discerning taste. Besides, a chicken parma is a uniquely Aussie dish that deserves a uniquely Aussie pronunciation.
A strawpoll of the P.TV office shows just how far we’ve strayed as a nation. About 40% of us pronounce parma correctly. The remaining majority for some reason think it’s very normal to say parmi. One of us even admitting to flip-flopping between the two.
Would you feel comfortable ordering a “parmi” at the pub? Of course not, because it’s WRONG. I don’t care what the menu says. Especially if that menu says “parmi” for $30.
Consider also: maths! Every Aussie will agree that maths is the correct shorting of mathematics. It’s the Americans who get it wrong. It only makes sense, then, that parma is the correct shortening of parmigiana. If we followed American logic here we’d all be calling it Chicken Permission
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews once ran a poll to see what over 30,000 Aussies thought. 81% said “parma”. 81% of you were right.
Wikipedia says that “a similar dish, the parmo, which uses either pork or chicken, has developed in England.” At least we can all agree that’s wrong.Image: Flickr CC-BY / Patrick Quinn-Graham