The ITALIAN FOOD DECODER is the perfect companion for exploring the world of Italian cuisine. This app provides instant translations of all the food names, terms and phrases commonly used in cooking. And it's much more than just a dictionary. In-depth entries for all the important words offer background, with descriptions of what's in a dish, where it came from, what goes good with it and who does it best.

The ITALIAN FOOD DECODER is comprehensive—some 6,000 words in all, including dialect words and local dishes from every region of Italy. The advanced search function allows you to instantly find the Italian word for anything, and easy navigation lets you puzzle through any restaurant menu in a snap.

With so many regional styles and specialities, Italian cooking can be awfully mystifying (we've found over twenty words for chanterelle mushrooms), but this app will help you sort out the local peculiarities as well as the hundreds of varieties of cheeses, charcuterie, fish, pasta shapes and the rest.

The ITALIAN FOOD DECODER is an education in everything Italian in a fun, accessible form. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned Italophile, it is bound to increase your enjoyment and appreciation of one of the world's great cuisines. Buon appetito!

• Over 2000 articles for the most important dishes and specialities
• Special lists of cookware and tableware words, cuts of meat, cheese and wine terms and other topics
• Links to food sites, blogs and recipes, and to Italian food festivals
• Take it to the market and learn what you're looking at
• Use it to decipher real Italian recipes
• Lists DOC foods, and local specialities in the Slow Food 'Ark of Taste'

* About the Authors *
Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls are the authors of twenty-six Cadogan Guides covering every town and region of Italy. They started back in 1986, bringing up their children in an Umbrian village while exploring the country. Italy soon had its way with them, turning them (and the children) into hopeless, unrepentant foodies. In their travels, they always enjoyed taking notes on regional specialities and obscure delights, and these became the basis of this app.

What's New

Version 3.11

Improve content layout on iPads and iPhoneX.
Improve search functionality to better handle words with accents.
Preserve viewed map locations in navigation history.
Minor bug fixes.

Ratings and Reviews

Decipher those Italian Menus with Aplumb

Chris Malumphy

If only I had the benefit of this app when I was in Siena back in 1986. Then, my future wife ordered us mortadella sandwiches for a picnic lunch, perhaps the worst dining experience of my life, at least in Italy. With Italian Menu Decoder I would have avoided that catastrophic meal and the courtship may have run its course more smoothly.

Truth be told, I have dined with the authors of this app on several occasions, both in the states some 30 years ago, and abroad. I knew them when they could barely cook a kielbasa and did not have great sense of finer cuisine. But now that they have lived in Italy and France since 1985, and traveled extensively writing over 40 Cadogan tour guides and numerous newspaper and magazine articles on Italy, France, Greece and Spain, things have changed dramatically. To be invited to dine at chez Pauls and Facaros is a culinary delight. The starters themselves are worth the trip. Michael makes a mean aranchini and Dana’s exotic pizzas are beyond compare.

Italian Menu Decoder has strong merits. The recent update makes it even better. It deciphers not only the language and dialects that you’ll find on any Italian restaurant menu, but will also explain the cutlery, meats, pastas, ingredients and sauces that bring life to Italian cuisine.

If you dine Italiano frequently, or if you jut wish to learn more about Italian cuisine, this app is for you.

Awkward divisions, navigation


The overall info seems OK, and it's good that the authors keep up a running dialog in the Comment, and the pictures are often useful. But I very much dislike that vocabulary is strewn between various sections, forcing the reader to root around (is is under General? Restaurant Words? Bar Words? Cheese Words? I also find some of the navigation awkward, what with the General vocabulary split into 4 sections and some of the linked items leading to peculiar results (e.g. the link from 'all'amatriciana' leading to 'in bianco,' and a somewhat cryptic remark about sauces without tomato in them—whereas the name for an 'amatriciana' made without tomato sauce is alla gricia, which ought to be linked there but is not). Some of the choices for vocabulary entry are mysterious. E.g., alla gricia is found under gricia, but all'amatriciana is found under all', and alla milanese is found under alla, not milanese. Peculiar. So, good idea, needs work.

Insanely comprehensive

Best of Barcelona

These guys wrote the Cadogan regional guides to Italy (still the best I've found) and every September we travel with them and the latest edition of the Slow Food Osteria guide. Over the years our Italian has improved, but I can't count the times we've been completely stumped by dialect names on menus and in the shops that are NEVER NEVER in our Italian-English dictionaries. But they're on this app!

Great pics, and masses of information and anecdotes, even a guide to the cuts of meat in Italian (always one of the big mysteries). Other good news is the fat heavy old Osteria guide is now an app, too. If you like touring and eating off the beaten track in Italy, get both; you won't regret it!


Wu Wei Ltd
227.7 MB
Food & Drink
Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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