What is the most proper way of saying “seafood” in Italian?

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Solitarian
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What is the most proper way of saying “seafood” in Italian?

Postby Solitarian » Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:55 pm

:D Hello everyone. I’m finally trying to relearn Italian after years of a hiatus! (Haven’t spoken since high school). One thing I’m confused about right now is the word “seafood”.

Where I live (NYS) everyone uses “seafood” as an umbrella term that includes all true fish (finned-fish) used as food as well as all shellfish (inkfish, crustaceans, sea mollusks) used as food.

For years I was under the impression “frutti di mare” was the Italian equivalent of “seafood” but I recently heard “frutti di mare” actually is the equivalent of “shellfish”?!? — and thus excludes “fish/pesce” from the definition.

Can someone confirm the accuracy of this notion, it made me very confused?
Does another term/phrase serve as the umbrella term for
both? I am looking for the most simple but polite way of saying “We can eat seafood but no meat” to a server. :oops:
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kiaravale89
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Re: What is the most proper way of saying “seafood” in Italian?

Postby kiaravale89 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:27 am

Hi!
I'm Chiara and I'm italian.
With the word 'frutti di mare' we mean shellfish (clams, mussels, etc.) and the umbrella word that you are looking for is easily just 'fish' :)
'We can eat seafood but no meat' can be translated literally as: 'Noi mangiamo pesce ma la carne no'.
There are many ways you can put this phrase down politely in italian, to a waiter/server I would say 'Noi non mangiamo carne, ma il pesce si', this way you put the stress on the part about NOT eating meat, which is the most important information if you do not want any surprise in your dish.
I hope this is helpful.
I'd like to improve my english by finding someone to talk to from time to time, would you be interested? I'm totally down to help you with italian if you want to!
Ciao!
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Iversen
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Re: What is the most proper way of saying “seafood” in Italian?

Postby Iversen » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:29 pm

I would be surprised if I ordered "pesce" in Italy and found a lobster in front of me.

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oho
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Re: What is the most proper way of saying “seafood” in Italian?

Postby oho » Sun Jan 31, 2021 5:51 pm

"Pesce" is the umbrella term. It might seem weird as it literally translates to "fish" but, you know, languages can be weird.

Iversen wrote:I would be surprised if I ordered "pesce" in Italy and found a lobster in front of me.


But you would never order "pesce". That's like ordering "meat" or "a drink" or "vegetables".
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