DRINKING AND EATING LIKE ITALIANS
We could say that Italians are noisy and sometimes unruly. But when it comes to eating, everything changes and the rules are too many. Let’s find out a few:
Let’s start with breakfast for a journey into taste, but above all into Italian culture at the table. The Italian breakfast is known worldwide for being minimalist: drink an espresso and eat two biscuits are a classic example. In contrast a croissant and a cappuccino for breakfast already become a luxury for us Italians!
If you try to order a cappuccino after 11, someone will probably look at you weird because you are already in the break time between coffee and aperitif. At this time a coffee at the bar with work colleagues or friends is a must. Nevertheless, the trend to sit at tables and have an espresso has been developing in recent years in Italy. Until recently, everything was done strictly standing.
If you try to order a cappuccino after 11, someone will probably look at you badly because you are already in the break time between coffee and aperitif. At this time a coffee at the bar with a work colleagues or friends is a must.
Nevertheless, the trend to sit at tables and have an espresso has been developing in recent years in Italy. Until recently, everything was done strictly standing.
Between one and two is lunch time, the most awaited moment. Two olives, taralli and a few pieces of cheese or salami are waiting for us before our pasta arrives (be careful not to overdo the portions). An essential rule: never start lunch with a salad, for us it’s just a side dish! If instead of your pasta you have chosen a seafood risotto, avoid asking for cheese, for Italians this is outlawed! Remember well the many unwritten rules concerning lunch and especially pasta. There is also one that says: never cut pasta, especially spaghetti.
Do not overdo the wine at the table. Drinking a glass to enhance the flavors of food is one thing. On the contrary, drinking alcohol before a lunch or during in an exaggerated way for us Italians is not good!
Be careful not to eat the pasta with bread, but also remember that if you have finished your pasta and there is still some sauce left on your plate, then yes, you can clean it using the bread and make the “scarpetta”.
If you travel up and down Italy, it would be advisable for you to eat local dishes. For example, if you are in Milan ask for a good risotto, if you are in Bari orecchiette, but never vice versa. Regional cuisine must be respected.
For dinner keep it light. Eat meat or fish if you prefer you can eat pizza (but do it with your hands!). Always remember to combine the right glass of wine or beer of your choice but never overdo the drinks. Italians like to drink only on special occasions!