Monday, 15 September 2014

All an Illyism

  On my 'café crème for espresso' query, Lynne Murphy of the invaluable 'separatedbyacommonlanguage' blog / website tells me that it is definitely not an Americanism. Perhaps I should be careful not to attribute so many changes to US influence?

Following extensive research (or a quick look at Wiki), it now seems to me that the crème expression (ouch) was possibly from the early days of coffee-making machines and described the creamy or frothy appearance compared to that produced by previous methods. The phrase might have been more popular in Switzerland and, for a time, in Italy, perhaps in the 'crema' version. (But they call it espresso now, don't they, or just coffee?) And certainly in France it means more or less what the name suggests.

However, as the cafe in question was an Illy at Schiphol Airport this doesn't quite explain it. Illy is a long-established Italian company, although, as the name suggests, founded by a Romanian.

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