GUEST AUTHOR: Eylul Deniz Basok, Spotahome Student Ambassador
Imagine a place where eating pasta all day-everyday is not considered to be unhealthy at all.
Yes you guessed it right; I am talking about Italy… the heaven of food. Well, if you want to live in this heaven, there are some simple (?) rules to follow about the way you eat their food. And if you ever dare to break them, you will find yourself in front of some angry Italians yelling and doing some weird hand gestures at the same time (a lot fun to watch actually). Sorry -not sorry, but Italians are the most traditional (and narrow-minded) people when it comes to their food.
So take a pen and notebook, here we goooo:
Putting yogurt on pasta
This is of course my number one:
If you are Turkish or if you’ve ever been to Turkey, you know what I am talking about. Well, we eat EVERYTHING and I mean literally everything with yogurt, on yogurt, under yogurt, mixed with yogurt… and of course, pasta is not an exception.
As for the first dinner of my new life in Italy, I decided to cook some pasta and I had nothing in the fridge but yogurt. So yes, I put the yogurt on pasta. Now, imagine a dormitory kitchen full of Italians screaming "a girl is putting yogurt on pasta…" Well I didn’t understand a single word of what they were yelling but I was pretty sure that I was breaking some “unwritten rules of food”
Now, after 4 years of tasting every single pasta possible, I still love eating it with yogurt, I just don't do it in public.
Breaking the spaghetti
This time, it wasn’t me but my friend. Oh poor girl, all she wanted was spaghetti for lunch.
I was in the kitchen with her when she was cooking. After the water was boiled, she took a bunch of spaghetti out of the box and just broke them in half… With that breaking sound echoing in the house, our Italian flatmate came running out of his room, looking at the broken spaghetti as if he was about to cry. I have nothing more to say.
Cappuccino, per favore!
You think that drinking cappuccino anytime you want is possible, right? Well, you still have so much to learn…
Note that cappuccino is only for breakfast which means that you can drink it until 11 am. Of course you can order it in the later hours but be aware that Italians will make fun of you! In the later hours of the day you are only allowed to drink espresso (special attention to the spelling here; it is not expresso!!) or cafe macchiato, which is basically espresso with a little milk foam.
Serving everything on the same plate
For me there is nothing more "normal" than to put the pasta/rice and meat on the same plate and eat them together. Well, for Italians this is a big NO.
Every food has an order; first you eat your primo (first course), which is usually pasta or rice and then you eat your secondo (second course), which is any kind of meat. But they must come in this order and on different plates. They must NEVER touch.
I think this rule comes from the fact that they don’t treat pasta as a side dish, it is a meal by itself and you have to enjoy its taste to the fullest.
Chicken with pasta
As a student, I decide what to eat as I open the fridge and see what’s inside. That day, there was only chicken and pasta, so there you go, my dinner! I knew that there was something wrong with it as I saw the questioning face of my Italian flatmate. He told me that there was no single pasta dish that included chicken. Italians believe that the texture of the cooked chicken and pasta are very similar so they just don’t go together…
Pineapple on pizza
I don’t even want to talk about this.
Don’t disrespect the tradition
The unwritten rule of food is: “Nonna knows the best." She learned the recipes from her nonna, who learned from her nonna, who learned from her nonna and so on”. By the way, nonna is grandmother :)
So don’t disrespect the tradition, there is a reason why Italian food is eaten/served in a specific way!
Comment below if you know of any other no goes when it comes to Italian food.
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