Cappuccino--a query

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Nov 5 09:34:12 UTC 2000

At 2:01 PM -0600 11/5/00, Gerald Cohen wrote:
>         Barry Popik has presented various items indicating that  cappuccino
>(both the coffee-drink and the name) were invented in San Francisco by Fred
>Landi;  Landi reportedly made this invention in 1937 or 1938, and the first
>written attestation is 1946.
>         However, in a July 24, 2000 message to ADS-L, Jan Ivarsson cites
>evidence from his Italian dictionary which says that cappuccino is
>traceable to 1905.  If this date is accurate, Fred Landi  would be ruled
>out as the inventor of cappuccino and its name, but he would at least be
>left as the individual who introduced both to the U.S. Here is Ivarsson's
>>>     My Italian dictionary (Sabatini-Coletti, Dizionario italiano  on
>>>CD-ROM) says about "cappuccino": Bevanda a base di caffè espresso e
>>>latte. Deriv. di  "cappuccino 1" per il colore simile a quello del
>>>saio... a 1905 which means: Drink made up of café espresso and milk.
>>>Derived from "cappuccino 1" (Capuchin monk clad in a brownish hood)
>>>because of the color  similar to that of the hood... Known since 1905.
>>>Thus it seems hardly probable that the drink was invented by  Mr. Landi
>>>in 1938 San Francisco. Jan Ivarsson, Simrishamn,  Sweden
>         The question now arises: Are there any Italian dictionaries from
>1905-1936 which actually attest "cappuccino" for the time of publication or
>can specifically give an earlier citation?  Would anyone have access to
>such dictionaries? And does anyone have access to an Italian etymological
>dictionary which includes "cappuccino"?
>         Any assistance would be much appreciated.
>-----Gerald Cohen

as we've seen, there's also the weird morphing of cappuccino into a
chocolate-based drink in the early U.S. (S.F.) cites, before the
coffee version took over (again).


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