While members of his generation are rarely portrayed as comfortable with modern technology, 75-year old Pasquale Sciarappa is no stranger to the internet. Since 2008, the Italian-American cook, who currently lives in New Jersey, has been posting cooking videos for everything from chicken piccata to beef pho to his YouTube channel, Orsara Recipes. But despite his pasts efforts, which include a two-hour recipe for homemade pasta sauce, and his characteristic “No Sweat, No Sauce” t-shirt, Sciarappa seems to be quickly becoming better known for his accent than his culinary prowess: a video of the home chef trying to pronounce “Worcestershire sauce” has gone viral.
While attempting to film a video for his Stuffed Mushrooms, Sciarappa and his cameraman were quickly distracted when they realized Sciarappa’s thick Italian inflection makes it quite difficult for him to pronounce the name of the classic British sauce. His assistant can be heard off-camera as he attempts to coach the cook through the word, eventually laughing as the attempts becoming increasingly outlandish, ranging from “warsester-shoo-sher” to “wan-jes-cheer saw-ooh-chey” (Worcestershire sauce). At times, Sciarappa points out that his own name seems relatively similar to the word he is trying to pronounce; at another, he suggests that the term would be easier to say the Italian way. However, those verbal struggles seem to have paid off: since the video was posted on November 17, it has drawn more than 1,300,000 views and been featured on The Huffington Post, the Daily Mail, and a variety of other international online news sources.
But viewers shouldn’t assume that Sciarappa doesn’t know what he’s talking about: he began his cooking career in Torino, Italy in 1957, before immigrating to the United States and working in a restaurant. While he now primarily cooks for his family, Sciarappa says that he began sharing videos on YouTube as a way to share his love of cooking with the world, a love he says began with his mother and his homeland.
Moreover, cooks like Sciarappa are part of a culture known for their delicious culinary traditions and recipes. While Sciarappa himself dismisses the idea of secret ingredients, a number of traditional Italian herbs and seasonings, such as fennel pollen, are now being discovered by American chefs who rave about their virtues.
However, neither his recent fame nor his culinary background seem to be going to Sciarappa’s head: after posting a thank-you video for the million views his “Worcestershire sauce” video received, he quickly returned to his normal schedule, posting a recipe for Thanksgiving turkey. Currently, it has fewer than 3,000 views, although that number is likely to increase as the holiday approaches and viewers remember the cook with a great grasp on the importance of cooking…if not the pronunciation of British sauces.
(For those still wondering, however, “Worcestershire sauce” is pronounced “Woh-ster-sher” or “Wor-ster” sauce, depending on your location. Remember, it can also be pronounced the Italian way.)