Here’s an interesting set of articles I found
on “The Independent” and “Daily Mail” websites talking about certain etiquettes
when dealing with Italian food.
Ketchup on your
pasta? Basta! Italian food institute issues a list of rules for foreigners to
Sunday 08 September 2013
committed them, but now, at last, we have no excuses. A respected food
institute has listed those culinary no-nos that make Italians wince inwardly
but which they are too polite to tell you about. The Parma-based Academia
Barilla, which aims "to defend and safeguard Italian food products made by
reputable artisans and certified denominations against poor-quality
imitations", has listed ten kitchen faux pas, in order to "teach
foreigners how to avoid culinary horrors" in confronting Italian food.
So now, we can
be free of that feeling that the waiter is laughing up his sleeve at us. The
list is compiled with a degree of self-mockery and lacks the seriousness of,
say, the Académie française's strictures on the French language. Nonetheless,
that's us put in our place. The rules are as follows:
* Never, ever,
sip a cappuccino during a meal. (Espresso) coffee and cappuccino are Italy's
pride. The first is to be consumed after a meal, and a cappuccino is for
breakfast, ideally with something sweet. You can order a one after a meal but
you should know an Italian would never do so.
* Risotto and
pasta are not meant to accompany other dishes (apart from specialities such as
l'Ossobuco alla milanese). Pasta served as if it were a veg is "a mistake
committed in many other countries, but in Italy is considered
sacrilegious". Gennaro Contaldo, author of several books on Italian food
and Jamie Oliver's mentor, agrees. He told The IoS: "I used to see this
combination of everything on a plate in Italian restaurants in the Seventies
when I first came to England – I'm glad to say this has died out."
* Don't put oil
in the pasta water. Any addition should be made after the pasta has been
* Ketchup on
pasta. This really shocks Italians. Barilla calls it "a true culinary
sin". Contaldo agrees: "I do like good ketchup, but only with
Bolognese? No! Probably Italy's most famous dish, yet there isn't a restaurant
in Bologna that serves it. The famous sauce is traditionally cooked with
tagliatelle, not spaghetti. But Contaldo thinks the report is a bit picky.
Where he is from, near Naples, spaghetti is fine, though what we call
"Bolognese" is generally simpler and less of a "soup" of
* Pasta with
chicken – never in Italy. Americans regard this as "typically
Italian", says the report, "but we have to tell you: no one in Italy
would serve such a dish". The nearest, says a conciliatory Contaldo, is
chicken broth which is then cooked with tiny pasta pieces
("pastina"), eaten as a soup and followed by a chicken main course.
salad": unknown in Italy, even if its inventor, Caesar Cardini, was
* Red and white
checked tablecloths. They don't exist in Italy, even though countless Italian
restaurants abroad use them.
"Fettuccine alfredo", a dish of noodles with butter and
Parmigiano-Reggiano, celebrated in the States as being characteristically
Italian, is, says the report, "completely unknown" in Italy. Invented
in Rome by Alfredo Di Lelio, it never took off in Italy, at least with that
tradition and a mother's advice, namely that Italian food is to be shared with
those you love. Love and family are "tutto".
Do you put
ketchup on your pasta or have a cappuccino with your supper? Worst Italian food
faux pas revealed
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:
- List of 10 kitchen no-no's
released by Academia Barilla in Parma
- Putting ketchup on your pasta is
'a true culinary sin' according to report
- Other mistakes include risotto as
a side dish and putting oil in pasta water
If you like
your pasta covered in ketchup or think risotto is a side dish, then you haven't
quite got the hang of Italian cooking, it has been revealed.
culinary mistakes have been included on a tongue-in-cheek list released by the
Academia Barilla in Parma - an institution dedicated to defending 'Italian food
products made by reputable artisans and certified denominations against poor
The list of
kitchen no-no's, as the Independent on Sunday reports, has been released in
order to 'teach foreigners how to avoid culinary horrors' when making Italian
putting ketchup on your pasta, described by the Academia as 'a true culinary
sin', the list also includes treating risotto and pasta as a side dish, sipping
cappuccino during a meal and using red and white checked tablecloths in a bid
as if it were a vegetable is a mistake committed in many other countries but in
Italy is considered sacrilegious,' Gennaro Contaldo, food author and mentor of
Jamie Oliver told the Independent.
'I used to see
this combination of everything on a plate in Italian restaurants in the
Seventies when I first came to England - I'm glad to say this has died out.'
Those who like
to sip a cappuccino while enjoying their supper have also got it wrong, as
according to the Academia, Italians have the milky coffee only at breakfast and
will not drink it at any other time of day.
And there was
bad news for fans of a savoury Spaghetti Bolognese supper, after the dish was
slammed by the Academia as inauthentic, while dishes that combine pasta and
chicken were also revealed to be a foreign invention.
Expert: Gennaro Contaldo (left, pictured with Antonio Carluccio) mentored
bolognese sauce is traditionally served with tagliatelle and not spaghetti says
the Academia, while pasta with chicken - although regarded as typically Italian
by Americans - is never eaten in Italy.
regard this [chicken and pasta] as typically Italian,' says the report, ' but
we have to tell you: no one in Italy would serve such a dish.'
Bolognese and chicken and pasta, another favourite revealed to be inauthentic
was the Caesar salad.
invented by an Italian, Caesar Cardini, it has never been classed as an Italian
dish and isn't known in the country in which it is usually thought to
FAUX PAS: THE ACADEMIA BARILLA'S LIST IN FULL
NEVER DRINK A
CAPPUCCINO DURING A MEAL
A cappuccino is
for breakfast and ideally should be drunk with something sweet. Although the
Academia concedes it can be ordered afterwards, it points out that an Italian
PASTA ARE NOT SIDE DISHES
serving it as part of a specialty dish such as l'Ossobuco alla milanese, it's a
DON'T PUT OIL
IN THE PASTA WATER
Oil should be
added after cooking.
DON'T PUT KETCHUP
culinary sin', says the Academia.
BOLOGNESE DOESN'T EXIST IN BOLOGNA
They eat their
Bolognese sauce with tagliatelle and not spaghetti.
CHICKEN IS NOT ITALIAN
'No one in
Italy would ever serve such a dish,' says the report.
CAESAR SALAD IS
NOT ITALIAN EITHER
was but the dish is not.
RED AND WHITE
CHECKED TABLECLOTHS ARE UNKNOWN IN ITALY
hasn't stopped every 'Italian' restaurant not in the country from using them.
ALFREDO: ALSO NOT ITALIAN
While it was
invented in Rome, the dish is entirely unknown in Italy.
Eating alone in
front of the TV is not the Italian way. Instead, says the report, you should
respect tradition (and your mamma) and share supper times with those you love.
Labels: Newspaper articles