We have all at one point or another tasted Italian foods and must agree this delicacy is hard to resist. Those cheesy pizza and pasta dishes make for a perfect meal any day (If only it would stop going to our waist region, but well…). Italian cuisine is famous for its regional diversity, its rich flavors and the fact that it is very popular in the world. Here are a few Italian meal etiquette mistakes to avoid next time you decide to visit Italy or indulge at the nearest restaurant…
- Breakfast in Italy. Don’t expect to be served with your usual English breakfast or anything close to what you are used to at home. Most Italians start their day with a mere coffee, or a coffee and cornetto (a branded frozen dessert cone). If you want to have the usual, then you have to go the extra mile
- Coffee before or with a meal. Coffee is seen as a way to help you digest your meal, so drinking it alongside is seen as misguided…even dangerous.
- Leave that bread alone; I know its really hard to resist that hot garlic and butter bread, but its there as an accompaniment to your primi (lots of pastas) and secondi (generally meats), especially to dip into leftover sauces, not as a starter.
- Have mineral water and or wine with your meal. Forget sodas or milk unless you are under age or having pizza for lunch.
- Say Cheese… The next time you walk into an Italian pizzeria, don’t request parmesan for your pizza. In fact, putting parmesan on anything with which it isn’t explicitly offered including pasta dishes is a No! No!.
- Say you visit or you are eating at someone’s home, there is an expectation that you will eat everything on your plate.
- Fork it; DON’T use a knife when eating pasta unless it’s lasagne, otherwise your fork is all you need for this. Using a knife is a huge insult as it implies that the pasta is so badly cooked you can only cut through it with a knife. To eat spaghetti, you are also expected to use a fork.
- Where’s the bill? In short: Don’t get annoyed if you are yet to get your bill 30 minutes after you are done with your meal! You must ask for it because its rude for a waiter to bring the bill just after you are done eating.
- Traditionally, white wine goes with fish, red wine goes with meat. White wine is traditionally chilled, red wine (except for sparkling red) should be served at room temperature.