Food, Lifestyle

7 Interesting Facts About Italian Culture & Cuisine

Italy is a beautiful country loved for its culture, art, heritage, and most especially,  it’s food. But what else do we know about Italian cuisine we’ve so declared our favorite cuisine of all time?For example, did you know that unlike popular belief the famous Spaghetti with Meatballs is not an Italian dish?

Yep, same. This is just one of the surprising facts about Italian cuisine, read below to know more.

1. Food is Serious Business

Duh, Obviously. When it comes to food, Italians take things seriously. The main meal of the day occurs at lunch, also known as il pranzo, or ‘the lunch’. The meal usually starts with an antipasti or appetizer. Antipasti consists of hors d’oeuvres such as olives, cheese, and salami. The first course, il primo, follows with delights such as pasta, or minestrone; a type of soup. Afterwards, il secondo, and the main course, arrives. Meat, fish, and a vegetable-dominated salads are served during this period. To conclude the overall meal, fruit, dessert, and espresso are served.

2. Pizza, at first, was labeled food for the poor

The pizza, one of the most famous Italian foods, originated during 18th century Naples. Originally a dry, flat bread, pizza was labeled food for poor people. In 1889, the Italian Queen, Margherita, sampled this flat bread. So enthused with it was the Queen, she ordered her chef to prepare various types for her. The most notable of these pizzas was Pizza Margherita, named after the Queen, and consisting of the three colours of the Italian flag made up mozzarella, tomato, and basil.

3. Italians are not a fan of Salad as an Appetizer 

Salads are popularly eaten as appetizers in England but you would be interested in knowing that Italians have salads after their meal as it helps digestion.

4. Spaghetti with Meatballs did not originate in Italy

Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of the most renowned “Italian” dishes in the world. Most of us have either heard or had this dish once in our lifetime. You will be surprised to know that this dish is not originally an Italian dish. In fact, pasta dishes in Italy most of the times is not topped with meat.

5. …So as Fettuccine Alfredo

The cheesy and creamy Alfredo pasta is not a very common dish in Italy. As opposed to the common belief that it originated there, it was was not until 1914 when it was put on the menu as a trademark item in a restaurant in New York by a chef called Alfredo di Lelio. In Italy, this dish is still known as “Alfredo di Lelio’s recipe” which unfortunately is not there on the list of most Italian chefs.

6. It’s considered disrespectful to eat while walking in Italy 

In contrast to other countries across the globe, Italians consider walking while eating as disrespectful. They endure and respect hard work. For them,  if someone has spent time and effort to make something for you then you should respect that person by sitting and enjoying the food. Also, you would not notice many people hooked on to their phones while eating in Italy.

7. Pasta was hung outside to dry before pasta factories

Before the invention of pasta factories, homemade spaghetti would be hung outside to dry. This display oftentimes looked like string, with lead to the pasta being known as spaghetti, or strings.

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