15 Dos And Don’t Of Eating In Italy part 2 – Part one is here.
15 Dos And Don’t Of Eating in Italy
Italian cuisine is one of the best in the world. There’s no doubt: ask any Italian, and they’ll tell you that their cooking is “the best.” However, it also happens that some people (especially tourists) do not understand the correct way to eat in Italy. Here are 15 Dos And Don’ts of Eating in Italy.
1. Don’t Eat Spaghetti with A Spoon
There’s this very common mistake that many tourists and children in general make: eating spaghetti with a fork and a spoon. The truth is: it’s not correct. Italians use only the fork to twirl spaghetti around it, and then they cut it using the edge of the fork. The spoon is never put in the mouth, and spaghetti should not be eaten with it.
2. Do Eat Lasagna Alla Bolognese Style
When it comes to eating lasagna, many people prefer other styles than the original way. Lasagna is cooked in a tomato sauce based on minced beef and pork and then layered with cheese and béchamel sauce (usually made with milk, butter, and flour).
It’s perfectly fine to eat it like that, but the Italian way is to eat lasagna alla Bolognese style, which means without cutting the lasagna. Then, you gently lift a piece of the pasta using two forks (one in each hand) and bite on it.
3. Don’t Drink Cappuccino after A Meal
As you might already know, Italians have a rich daily ritual of having coffee and especially a rich variety of different types of coffees. However, it’s not correct to have a cappuccino after meals because the milk is heavy and can spoil your digestion.
4. Do Drink Espresso before Eating
Espresso is the best drunk before a meal. The reason is that it stimulates the appetite, making you eat less food and therefore feel more satisfied by it. It’s also a way to make your stomach smaller so that you can enjoy a larger variety of dishes. Also, espresso does not upset the stomach like milk does.
5. Do Drink Red Wine
It’s very common for people to associate Italian food with white wine, but this is wrong. Italians are crazy about their red wines, especially those produced in Tuscany, Piedmont, and Veneto. It’s best to drink a full bodied red wine with meat and truffle dishes in particular.
6. Do Eat In Moderation
Since Italian cuisine is so rich and varied, it means that you can actually eat a lot of food and enjoy every bite of your meal. Eating in moderation does not mean eating less: Italians never follow strict diets; instead, they eat whatever they want but remember to eat slowly and enjoy their food.
7. Don’t Rush Your Meal
This is one of the most important things related to eating Italian style: you should never rush a meal. Italians like to take their time when it comes to enjoying a good dish, and this applies even more during lunchtimes (the biggest meal of the day). If you rush your meal, you’ll be missing many important aspects of their culture and it’s almost impossible to get a second helping.
8. Do Eat Bread before the Meal
Another common mistake of tourists is to avoid eating bread during a meal. However, in Italy, this does not apply: Italians like to have some bread (preferably focaccia or some other type) before a meal. While you might think that bread fills your stomach and makes you eat less, the opposite is true: Italians believe it helps them prepare for a meal by making their stomach smaller and reducing appetite.
9. Don’t Ask For Milk with Desserts
Milk is only drunk during breakfast time in Italy, and at lunch and dinner times, coffee is the only drink served. Therefore, never ask for milk with your desserts as you won’t get it. Italians don’t have a habit of putting milk in their coffee or tea.
10. Do Eat Tiramisù at the End of a Meal
Speaking of desserts: there’s one particular Italian dessert usually eaten at the end of a meal. In fact, tiramisù is the only one Italians eat at the beginning or during a meal. It’s also worth mentioning that it is not made with coffee but with mascarpone cheese and savoiardi biscuits dipped in strong coffee.
11. Don’t Eat Gelato in Hot Weather
Going for ice cream during the summer might be considered by many as a very sensible option to cool down. However, in Italy, there are no such things as “sensible options,” especially when it comes to food.
Italians believe that gelato should only be eaten when cold outside and never at hot temperatures. Moreover, they will give you a strange look if they see you eating gelato during the summertime.
12. Do Drink Caffè Latte at Breakfast Time
As mentioned earlier, Italians have a rich coffee culture, and therefore there are many popular types of coffees that people order in Italy.
One of the most common ones, especially during breakfast time, is caffè latte, a mix of espresso and steamed milk. People usually drink it in the morning before they work or study.
13. Do Eat Pasta At Least Once a Day
Pasta is one of the most important Italian dishes, and it’s not just known all around the world for being tasty but also for being healthy.
As a result, Italians are very proud of their national dish, and they eat it at least once a day. Moreover, pasta is usually eaten during lunchtime rather than dinner, which means that people have to consider that they’ll be eating three-course meals in just one sitting.
14. Don’t Eat a Pizza with a Fork and Knife
Unlike many people worldwide do, Italians think that eating a slice of pizza with silverware is very strange. In order to eat something as simple as a pizza in Italy, you have to do it the Italian way: folding it or using your hands!
Even though this might sound weird for most people, try it next time you’re in Italy, and you’ll notice how quickly you’ll get used to it.
15. Don’t Order a Main Course at Lunchtime
This is another common mistake that many people from abroad make: they either order two courses or they choose something from the main menu which they think would be more appropriate for lunch. However, in Italy, it’s widespread to eat only a starter during lunchtime (the equivalent of “soup and appetizer”).
Frequently Asked Questions about Italy
What is Italy like?
Italy is located in southern Europe between Spain, France, and Slovenia. It shares its border with many other countries, including Austria, Switzerland, and the Adriatic Sea. The capital of Italy is Rome, where most tourists begin their tour through this country filled with history.
What are some lesser-known facts about Italy?
Some strange but interesting facts about Italy include: many Italians work to collect ‘unused’ postage stamps because the government pays them for it; it is illegal to wear camouflage clothing in most public areas (there are exceptions, like the military); and crossing your fingers is seen as a sign of bad luck.
What is a dialect?
A dialect is a different form of a language spoken in a specific area. For example, people from the state Tuscany speak Toscano Italian, which differs from Standard Italian, which most people learn before going to Italy or otherwise hearing it on TV or radio. In Tuscany, instead of saying “the house,” they say, “la casa.”
Is there a language other than Italian in Italy?
In addition to Italian, many people living in the North also speak French and German. However, since there has been an influx of immigrants from Romania and Albania, their languages are becoming more widely spoken throughout northern European areas of the country.
Is the Italian language difficult to learn?
Italian is not as hard to learn as many thinks. Many English words are borrowed from Latin, so they have similar pronunciations and spellings. For example, pizza is pronounced “peetzah,” and prego means “I please.”
Is Italian an official language in Italy?
Yes, Italian is the official language in Italy. It is taught in all schools and commonly used in government documents and on street signs throughout Italy. Also, Italian is the official language of San Marino and Vatican City. Nonetheless, many people living in Italy also speak another language.
Who Is Considered Italian?
Italian is anyone who lives in Italy and speaks Italian as a first language. This means that Italians can be from many different ethnicities, including African, Middle Eastern, Asian, and European. People of all religions live in Italy, including Muslims and Jews.
How do you say “I love you” in Italian?
The correct way to say “I love you” in Italian is, “ti amo.” In fact, the British pop group ‘The Beatles’ named one of their albums, “Ti Amo.” That being said, it is common for Italians to say “ti amo” to family members like parents and children.
Where is Italy located?
Italy is in Europe between France and Slovenia, to the west of Austria and Switzerland, and the east of San Marino and Vatican City. It also has a small enclave within the French region of Provence.
Italy is in Europe. It borders France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. Along with Vatican City, it covers just over 301,340 square miles. However, the country has certain way of doing things like eating. So, for you not to be surprised, it’s best to know these things upfront.