Italians love their food, and they appreciate well-made dishes. It is like their interest lies in every single ingredient used and where it was grown. Many times when Italian food is mentioned, what comes to mind is pizza and pasta, but did you know there is no limit to what you can learn about Italian food? Here are a few of the exciting facts.
Italians Take their Meals in Courses
Having a meal in Italy is a cultural practice that is savored and never rushed. Regardless of how busy their schedules are, they take a three-course lunch, which is the most important meal of the day, then go back to work. Dinner is usually light and includes dishes like a frittata with salad.
Pasta is Different in Italy
Pasta is eaten all over the world, but the way it is done in Italy just makes it outstanding. It is served in small portions, and the amount of meat and sauce is minimal so that you can savor every ingredient in the dish. Lasagna is never served with spaghetti in Italy unlike in other countries.
Salads Are Served Last
Salads are a signal that the meal has come to an end, and they are meant to cleanse the plate. The ingredients of the salad are kept light, with a mix of sliced tomatoes and a toss of vinaigrette. Salads should only comprise what is fresh from the garden; no cheese, thick dressings, or cold cuts.
Bread Is Not Part of the Course
In different regions of Italy, bread is served differently. In some places, it is served with cheese, while in some places it is served as crostini topped with fresh tomatoes. Bread is not eaten all through the meal, neither should it be nibbled on between courses. It is served with the main course, mainly to help with the cleaning up of the sauce from the plate. However, do not do this in public or when you visit someone’s house unless you are well acquainted.
Wine Completes the Meal
Every meal must be accompanied by one bottle of wine and another bottle of sparkling water. The quality or type of wine varies from one region to another because there are over 350 types of grapes from which it is made. The wine culture and history have a special place in the lives of Italians, and a meal is never considered complete without it.
Coffee, cocktails, and soda are rarely served during a meal because they are believed to hinder the taste-buds from getting the real taste of the food. The wine is complementary to the food, while water awakens the palate buds.
Coffee is Not Your Usual Drink
Do not be tempted to order a cappuccino at 4 O’clock when you are in Italy. It is only served in the morning as a breakfast drink. The first coffee in the morning, Moka, does not contain chocolate and do not expect to find it just anywhere. However, there are beautiful traditional houses that serve coffee as a revered drink. Learn the language and customs before you order.
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