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Italian word of the day: 'Avanzi'

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Italian word of the day: 'Avanzi'
Photo: DepositPhotos
10:35 CET+01:00
All that stuff in your kitchen right now? Yeah, that's this.

Today's word is surely one you'll relate to right now: gli avanzi are 'leftovers'.

And because Italian Christmas dinners are too big for anyone to finish, we assume by now they're all over your kitchen.

Stasera mangeremo gli avanzi della cena di ieri.
Tonight we'll eat the leftovers from yesterday's dinner.

The term comes from the verb avanzare ('to advance'), and it refers to what's left behind once everything else has gone. While gli avanzi (plural noun) are the leftovers themselves, you might also hear people use the adjective form to refer to il cibo avanzato ('leftover food').

The good news is that December 26th, Santo Stefano or St Stephen's Day, is a public holiday in Italy – less for religious reasons than to give people an extra day to rest and digest, much like Boxing Day in the UK.

So Italians typically extend the Christmas celebrations, making the most of the time off to gather together and make a dent in all that unfinished food.

Meatballs, panettone sandwiches and fish tacos: a few of Pour Femme's ideas for how to recycle Christmas leftovers. 

So enjoy your Santo Stefano, get creative with your avanzi and above all, make sure you fit in a lie-down. Buon appetito! 

Do you have a favourite Italian word, phrase or expression you'd like us to feature? If so, please email our editor Jessica Phelan with your suggestion.

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