cappuccino revisited

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Sat Dec 2 21:34:19 UTC 2000

        Some months ago there was a thread on "cappuccino" and its
possible origins. Yesterday I was watching a PBS television program
about Sicily, and the narrator entered a restaurant and ordered a
cappuccino. In a matter-of-fact manner he explained that the name
derives from the likening of the coffee to the appearance of a
Cappucin monk.  Specifically (and here the camera focused on the
coffee with the cream on top) the cream is white and the coffee just
beneath is likened to the brown robes of the monks.

    The cream on top was a generous portion, and in what seemed to be
a domed shape it covered almost the entire surface of the coffee.
That of course would be the tonsured head of the monk. The coffee is
the brown robe beneath the tonsured head. (Or might it be the hair
circling the shaven crown?)

        This partially duplicates information presented in the
earlier discussion. Still, seeing just what the cream looked like on
the coffee in the Sicilian restaurant clarified for me why the name
is "cappuccino."

---Gerald Cohen

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