The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Beccafico

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BECCAFICO, bĕk-ā-fē'kō, the Italian name of the small olive-brown garden-warbler (Sylvia hortensis), called in England “pettychaps,” which has the habit of pecking holes in the rind of ripening figs and other fruits, in search of small insects. The damage done is very slight. These birds were eaten with much delight by the ancient Romans, and are still in high favor on Grecian, French and Italian tables, especially in Venice. An annual feast made on beccaficos is called Beccaficata. The term is also applied in continental Europe, rather indiscriminately, to different kinds of sylvan warblers when fat and in condition for the table.