Unless you are used to eating grandma’s homemade cooking from Italy, chances are the food you order in most Italian restaurants in the United States isn’t as authentic as you may think. In fact, many Italian eateries in the States have food on their menus that is not eaten in Italy.
Aside from this, there is also some confusion about how to eat some favorite Italian foods. So, the next time you visit an Italian restaurant or go to Italy to sample Italian food straight from the source, keep your eye out for these Italian foods.
Read on to discover four things you probably don’t know about Italian food.
1. Use Bread to Mop up Sauce
Ok, so bread is a staple of the Italian diet and an authentic part of the meal, however, what most people don’t know is that bread should be eaten at the end of the meal instead of as an appetizer while you wait for your entree. Traditionally, bread is used as a sponge to mop up any leftover sauce from your meal, though this may be seen as crass in some of the more expensive, fine-dining Italian restaurants.
2. Peperoni is not Meat
While in Italy or at an authentic Italian restaurant in the States, it’s important to know the difference between pepperoni and peperoni. The former is a popular meat for pizza toppings, while the later is actually a pepper.
3. Spaghetti and Meatballs and Fettuccine Alfredo are NOT Italian Dishes
If you’ve been to Italy and tried to find Fettuccine Alfredo or spaghetti and meatballs on the menu, you were probably left scratching your head. These foods are actually considered American cuisine you won’t find anywhere in Italy. However, if you really want pasta with cream sauce, look for the Italian word for cream (panna) on the menu. For spaghetti and meatballs, you can expect to have the meatballs served separately in a bowl. If you decide to mix them together, don’t be surprised by some weird looks from Italians dining near you.
4. Italians Eat a Small Breakfast
Overall, Italians shun a big breakfast. In fact, the favorite choice for breakfast in Italy is an espresso and sweet pastry or croissant. A big American style breakfast is practically unheard of in Italy. Instead, Italians like to keep it small for breakfast while eating bigger meals for lunch and dinner, which are usually quite festive, full of laughter and conversation, and can last for hours.