Are you going to travel to Italy and want to try the “typical Italian food”? Are you sure you know what “that” even means? Anyone can talk about the typical dishes of Italian cuisine until exhaustion and never reach a medium point. Now, keep reading and you will see what to do before venturing into a restaurant and eating in Italy…
What Not to do When Going to Eat in Italy if You Don’t Want to Look (More) Foreigner
You’re already in Italy, finally entered a restaurant and now the hardest part comes, understanding what to do so you don’t seem so disenfranchised.
Here is a list of things you shouldn’t do in an Italian restaurant, ever!
First of all, don’t ask for parmesan if you’re having a plate of pasta or rice with fish or seafood. Don’t ask why, it’s like that, fish doesn’t mix with cheese. That nice bowl of grated cheese on the table next to it is unreachable. By the way, you cannot eat bread with pasta, only before or after. If you do it, hide. Penalty: Home Arrest.
Don’t order a Lambrusco wine outside the region of Emilia Romagna or in a good restaurant, it’s one of the two most exported wines in Italy but not the most consumed nor by far the most high-priced wine (although there are Lambrusco wines of high quality and very good, it is not usually served). Penalty: Bartender’s hurtful look.
Don’t ask for a pizza in a restaurant that is not a pizza place, there isn’t. And, by the way, these places are usually only open at night, so you probably won’t find pizza at noon. Penalty: Social services cleaning dishes in a real pizza place.
If you order a pizza with “pepperoni“, know that peperoni (spelled with one p) are peppers. The pepperoni that you have in mind is salame piccante. Penalty: Forced labor in a pepper crop in southern Italy.
Pizza isn’t for sharing. If you want to look Italian or at least not draw too much attention on yourself, be tough and finish the whole pizza. If you can do it with a stew you can do it with a pizza as well. Cheer up! Penalty: Eat all the pizza you have left, -even if you’re bursting- while all the people in the restaurant looks.
Don’t say that you already ate pasta the day before and that you’re tired: every pasta, with its different shapes and sauces, are completely new worlds, although you don’t understand it, you need to pretend you actually do, it’s only for a few days. Penalty: Immediate deportation.
Yes, Italians can be really intimidating when it comes to food, the educated thing to do is to not let them notice, just pretend that you understand them and that’s it! With these tips, you’re prepared to be like an authentic Italian (or at least someone who tried to approach the culture of the country you’re visiting). Ah, you can also read the 10 commandments of Italian cuisine for foreigners prepared for the Accademia Barilla, interesting reading if you’re planning a trip soon, where you’ll find curiosities such as the use of ketchup in pasta or pizza, which, fortunately, is only practiced in the USA.