Compiled by the food institute, Academia Barilla in Parma, Italy, these Italian no-nos are a must to follow for any tourist venturing to ‘Bel Paese’ (beautiful country). Founded in 2004, the institute promotes the art of Italian cuisine and protects the regional gastronomic heritage.
1.You shall not sip a cappuccino during a meal. Coffee and cappuccino are the pride of Italy, but the former is usually consumed at the end of a meal and the latter is sipped at breakfast accompanied by a pastry.
2. You shall not serve risotto or pasta as a side dish. This is considered a sacrilege in Italian culture.
3. You shall not add oil to your pasta water. Oil should be added to the pasta only after you have drained it.
4. You shall not add ketchup to your pasta. This is the one that Italians find most shocking – a real gourmet crime.
5. You shall serve tagliatelle and not spaghetti with your Bolognese. While a seemingly minor detail, in Italian cuisine the pairing of pasta and sauce is sacred.
6. You shall not put chicken in a pasta dish and call it Italian. In Italy there are no hot dishes featuring pasta and chicken.
7. You shall not order a Caesar salad in Italy. This salad, which bears the name of its supposed creator, Caesar Cardini, is one of many recipes devised by chefs of Italian origin who are, in fact, almost unknown in Italy.
8. You shall not call the red and white checked tablecloth “typically Italian”. This is one of the biggest stereotypes universally associated with Italian restaurants. You’ll be disappointed to find very few of them in Italy.
9. You shall not call ‘Fettuccine Alfredo’ an Italian dish. While it is one of the most popular dishes in American-Italian cuisine, it is the least known dish in Italy, despite being created in Rome.
10. You shall respect Italian traditions and what mamma knows best. All Italian mammas learned from their mammas, who learned from their mammas and so on. It’s been tried and tested. And what is the most important Italian lesson of all? That love is what life and family are all about.