Whether you’ve grown up eating Italian food or you’re just discovering this famous cuisine, there are a few things you probably don’t know about Italian food – unless you’re Italian!
The next time you go out to an Italian restaurant or have friends over for an Italian dinner party, wow everyone with these five fun facts about Italian food.
1. The Main Meal is Lunch
While Americans say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and typically fill up on dinner after a “light” lunch, the Italians see lunch as the main meal of the day. Typically, pasta is the first course, followed by a meat dish, salad, fruit and dessert. You’ll need a nap after a lunch that size.
2. Morning Coffee Always has Milk
Italians don’t drink their coffee black, at least not in the morning. While traveling in Italy, expect to order a milky coffee like a cappuccino or latte with your breakfast meal.
3. Never Eat and Walk at the Same Time
If you’re in a hurry and expect to grab a meal on the run, forget about it in Italy. In fact, don’t even stand while you’re eating. The whole point of Italian food is to enjoy it. How can that be done if you’re walking down the road or standing on an overcrowded bus? Instead, do like the Italians do and take your time finding pleasure in your food and drink.
4. Pizza was Considered Food for Poor People
Most likely born in Naples, the first style of Italian pizza was called Neapolitan pizza. It was a flatbread that came with a variety of toppings and was sold on the streets to mostly the poor. It wasn’t until 1738 that the first pizza restaurant in Italy opened. It was called Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba.
5. Italians eat Special Foods on Special Holidays
Enjoying food is a big part of Italian culture. During the holidays, this love of food also serves as a symbol of the holiday being celebrated. For example, during the Christmas season, you’ll find many of the following foods gracing the table of Italians:
- Cured olives and pickled veggies
- All kinds of cheese
- Cured meats
- Roasted wild game
- Fresh Fruit
Traditional Easter dishes include:
- Easter eggs
- Salami with boiled eggs
- Casatiello napoletano
- Torta Pasqualina
- Scarcella and Fiadoni
- Fresh beans
- Pizza di Pasqua
There is so much more to learn about Italian food that this list could be fill many pages. We hope it gets your appetite whet!