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Things That Are a Big NO on an Italian Restaurant – Pt. 2

After knowing the dishes popularly assumed to be “Italian food” in America and discovering that t so-called “Italian” meals such as the Caesar salad, the fettuccine Alfredo, are actually unknown in Italy, you still have a world to discover about the interpretations of Italian cuisine abroad, but now nothing surprises an experienced foodie, so keep reading to not be ashamed when you visit a truly Italian restaurant and don’t let this ruin the experience.

What Not to do When You Are Going to Eat in Italy

The list of friendly advice keeps going, this is just a short guide for foodies that want to know the true Italian gastronomy without having a hard time or living awkward moments that can ruin a wonderful meal.

Don’t say that the pasta is too hard. The pasta is al dente, this is how it is eaten in Italy. For many people the pasta is made this way and that “when it is soft, leave it five minutes more”, but in Italy is another thing, learn to enjoy it. Penalty: Expulsion from the country.

Don’t ask why the cream is missing in your plate of carbonara pasta. Carbonara has no cream! Nor mushrooms, by the way… Is the same case of the cheese for seafood pasta or risotto, it just don’t belong together.  Penalty: A month in Guantánamo.

Asking for a coffee with milk, a cappuccino or, worse, an orange juice, after the meal? A big NO. After lunch in Italy you’re only allowed to drink caffè espresso, an infusion – don’t try to ask for a penny mint, it doesn’t exist, instead, order a mint tea – or a caffè d’orzo. The cappuccino is only taken for breakfast and, very rarely, for a snack. And coffee, in all its variations, is never accompanied by juice. But, above all, remember: the espresso is not too strong, you are too weak. Penalty: A week to ten days of social services learning to make espresso at a beach bar.

Please, never ask for a iced coffee, it doesn’t exist in Italy (although there are alternatives: the caffè freddo and the caffè shakerato, really worth to try it). Penalty: Drink a liter of boiling espresso caffè.

Don’t ask for a salad as a first course. The salad is not an entree, it’s an accompaniment. The entrants allowed are pasta, rice, soups or other spoon dishes with legumes or cereals. In some fast food or informal place there is insalatone, large salads that serve as unique dishes, are the common restaurants there. Penalty: Swallow three dishes in a row with your starters, first, second and desserts.

Carbonara or Bolognese pizza isn’t a thing in Italy -By the way, alla bolognese is called ragú in Italian-: they are pasta sauces and pizza is another world, besides the fact that meats in pizza are also forbidden. Penalty: Bathe in Bolognese sauce.

(This advice is special for South Americans). Don’t ask for juices to accompany the food. In Italy, the food is accompanied by water or wine and, if it’s fast food or informal as a pizza, with beer or soft drinks. Penalty: Super fast expulsion.

(Especially for Argentines). Don’t say that Argentine pasta or pizza is better than Italian. If you think that’s the case which is very likely because it’s what you’ve always been used to eating-just tell all your compatriots when you’re back home. Penalty: Withdrawal of that Italian passport.