mappazzone (TV slang)

Saoul

Senior Member
Italian
Hi everybody.

This term is not on Italian vocabularies (yet). It's a familiar/slang/colloquial term that defines a dish without elegance... It doesn't really say a lot about the quality and taste of the food, but more on how it's presented.

It's a term that it's rether "famous" in Italy right now because one of the judges of the TV Show "MasterChef" Italia uses it to describe contestants' dishes when they are unelegant and kind of sloppy.

What would a suitable translation be? I thought something like "chow" or "blob" but I would really love to have your inputs on this.

Totally random question, I know, but honestly, I'm surprised no one asked before.

Thanks,
Saoul
 
  • giginho

    Senior Member
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Hi Sould (again!)

    Usually I go for "mappazza" when something is very hard to be digested, for example you can imagine a dish with mozzarella, peppers, sausages, mustard, and so on...this is a real mappazza, you won't be able to digest this within 6 hours. For me this is a mappazza. I've found stodge googling around, could it work?
     

    elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    Hi guys :)

    I think "chow" is something associated with "chow mein" in BE and "chow" on its own doesn't have the correct connotation. "stodge" is good, but you wouldn't say "That's a stodge!" because it doesn't come with the article. You might say "it's pure stodge" meaning it's something heavy and difficult to digest.

    Other words that spring to mind are "mishmash" or "hodgepodge" - these don't refer to food exclusively but they do refer to presentation. :)
     

    Saoul

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Like it even though it looks like a BE slang term. I'm translating for an AE company, so I would probably go for something different. Probably something a little more current... Any other ideas?
     

    Saoul

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hi elfa,

    the context is mainly what I described in my first post, so this judge of Italian version of the TV Show "MasterChef". It's a cooking competition. Chefs have to try and make the best dish possible in a given time with specific ingredients. Some of them will bring the judges very elegant dishes and some of them won't. When this judge in particular is presented with ... I don't know a stew, or something particularly greasy or unelegant (lot of sauce, lot of random vegetables and such) he will then label the dish as being "un mappazzone".
    The success of the show and the fact that this is a fun word made it you know... famous. Everybody is using this word now.

    It is used in different moments of the show and it goes from "Ma che cos'è questo mappazzone!" to "Non portatemi i mappazzoni!".

    Does this help?
     

    elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    It is used in different moments of the show and it goes from "Ma che cos'è questo mappazzone!" to "Non portatemi i mappazzoni!".

    Does this help?

    Ok, right, sorry - you'd already explained there was no specfic phrase.

    Another possibility, though you'd need confirmation that this is also AE slang, is "dog's breakfast". As in

    This dish looks like a dog's breakfast!
     

    Saoul

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Wouldn't that sound like he's commenting on the quality of the food, instead of the mere look of it? Because, I think this is the key thing. He very often uses the term as in: "It's very good, but it looks horrible!"
     

    elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    Wouldn't that sound like he's commenting on the quality of the food, instead of the mere look of it? Because, I think this is the key thing. He very often uses the term as in: "It's very good, but it looks horrible!"

    No, it's exactly commenting on the presentation: You would never say "it tastes like a dog's breakfast". "A dog's breakfast" means a total mess from the appearance point of view. :)
     

    AlabamaBoy

    Senior Member
    American English
    American audience. A dog's breakfast? I really don't think that works here. I am very sorry. It sounds like you are calling it vomit.
    I checked what they say on the English version of the show and the closest I've found so far is "It's all sort of flim flam!"

    I am trying to come up with something that might be said, have the right meaning, and catch on. Not easy.


    • "Don't bring me scrambled eggs, bring me an elegant omelet!
    • "Don't bring me peasant chicken gumbo, bring me a plate of chicken and elegant veggies! "
    I also thought about:

    • goulash,
    • slop,
    • disheveled mess,
    • blender reject,
    • food processor accident,
    and a few other things. But "A Dog's Breakfast" brings to mind canned meat by-products over here. Unfit for human consumption. The sad thing is that many older Americans on a fixed income have tried dog food due to being unable to afford regular food. This is an extremely revolting image to Americans.
     
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    MR1492

    Senior Member
    English -USA
    If I understand the discussion so far, the term mappazzone is only used to describe the presentation of the dish and has nothing to do with the taste of the food. I have seen the USA version of Master Chef and understand they base their decisions on both taste and presentation.

    If so, I cannot think of a neat, one-word equivalent of mappazzone! We may have to invent a new word, too. I think AlabamaBoy is correct that the only other thing we have is some phrases. While AB's are specific, some generic terms might be:

    slop house food/presentation
    cafeteria food/presentation
    chow line food/presentation
    fast food/presentation (you can insert your favorite chain of stores here)

    I just cannot think of a more concise way to phrase this in AE!

    Phil
     

    AlabamaBoy

    Senior Member
    American English
    I intended "scrambled eggs" and the like as metaphors, not literal comments on an egg dish. :)

    • "Don't bring me a Salad Master accident, bring me a salad from a master chef."
    Again, "salad" is a metaphor for whatever food is being prepared.
     
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    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    It's not terribly colourful, but the one all-purpose word I can think of here is "mess" (and "messy"). To ramp it up a bit, you could use the term "hot mess," which I've noticed is everywhere these days. "That plate is a hot mess!" "I don't want to see a hot mess!"

    (Perhaps slightly problematic if the plate in question is cold, but probably fine even then.:D)
     
    Va bene. A pig's bleep, then? Or is it a "disaster zone"? A sacrilege? (Una cosa abominevole, un sacrilegio?) Ho letto: "significa mettere nel piatto un casino di cose senza sapere perché". It sounds like a hotch-potch, a confused/ jumbled mixture.
     
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    MR1492

    Senior Member
    English -USA
    It was nothing but a proper shambles, a right mess. It was a pig's ear.

    I'm sorry, JG, but I responded before your edit and the "It was a pig's ear," was not present when I posted. If you look at the time stamp, I answered at 3:24 PM (my time) and your edit appeared at 3:27 PM (my time).

    As to the appropriateness, I suppose it would work but it just doesn't ring as something I would say or hear locally. It may be correct, I'm just not sure.

    Phil
     

    CPA

    Senior Member
    British English/Italian - bilingual
    I see (belatedly) that Bill already suggested "slop", so they obviously know it. There again, "slop" smacks of pigswill and while it may be appropriate for the original meaning of the word, it isn't for Saoul's cooking programme. "Sloppy mess" could do the trick, but it's not half as colourful as "mappazzone". My vote goes to "mishmash". :)
     

    MR1492

    Senior Member
    English -USA
    I see (belatedly) that Bill already suggested "slop", so they obviously know it. There again, "slop" smacks of pigswill and while it may be appropriate for the original meaning of the word, it isn't for Saoul's cooking programme. "Sloppy mess" could do the trick, but it's not half as colourful as "mappazzone". My vote goes to "mishmash". :)

    From this side of the pond, I can add a vote for "mishmash." It's pretty well known and even has the same sort of flow as "mappazzone."

    Phil
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I see Elfa suggests 'mishmash' in her post 3, but I have to admit I prefer her other suggestion: 'it looks like the dog's breakfast' is exactly what I would say. Would it be understandable on the other side of the pond?
     
    There are probably many, many ways of expressing "a right sloppy mess". (Incidentally, no one has yet explained to a native English speaker what "mappazone" might mean, or what might be its derivation in Italian).
     
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    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It might be interesting to watch one of the English language versions of 'Masterchef' and see what they say when are presented with something that looks like the dog's breakfast...:D

    Just out of interest. I know this is OT, but in my part of the world we also say that someone' is dressed up/looks like the dog's dinner' to mean that s/he is very badly/sloppily (or quite simply over-) dressed.
     
    Grazie, cercolumi. La spiegazione è molto chiara. The expression "indigestible mess" exists in food contexts as well as figuratively in English. For example: "You end up with an indigestible mess instead of a light, flaky pastry"; "This book is an incomprehensible, indigestible mess".
     

    QueSaràh

    Member
    Italian
    Mi inserisco anch'io in qs thread per dare la mia umile opinione: io ho sempre percepito il termine mappazzone non solo nell'accezione di sloppy o messy ma anche come troppo abbondante e poco raffinato

    In ogni caso riporto a beneficio di tutti la definizione che ne dà l'autore "spirituale" del programma:
    Il “mappazzone” é una parola tipicamente bolognese, si usa per intendere ad esempio un piatto per camionisti, abbondante, impiattato male, alla rinfusa, senza un senso, brutto da vedere, pesante, senza classe, senza stile, senza anima cioè….. un mappazzone! Di solito si prepara un mappazzone quando non si ha un’idea, quando pensi a una cosa e ne viene fuori un’altra, quando continui a mettere qualcosa nel piatto e poi non ti esce nulla.

    qui il link all'intera intervista: http://www.defoodiebus.com/bruno-barbieri-ecco-il-suo-masterchef-2-in-una-intervista-esclusiva/
     
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