14 interesting facts about Italian food

Italian cuisine is much more than just pizza and pasta. We often make a common mistake and believe in stereotypes, so I present the following list of 14 fun facts about Italian food. 

Has something surprised?

1. Margherita is the queen of pizza

Let’s start our list of interesting facts about Italian food with your favorite Italian dish. Although Margherita is the simplest of all types of pizza, it was named after Queen Margherita Maria Teresa Giovanna di Savoia. Pizza Margherita has the colors of the Italian flag: white (mozzarella), red (tomato), green (basil).

2. No ketchup!

A real Italian pizza is served without any sauces. 

3. Cappuccino can only be made in the morning

Italians know more about digestion than we think. For example, you shouldn’t eat milk after lunch or dinner because you will digest it longer. That is why Italians only drink cappuccino in the morning.

4. How to cook the perfect pasta

Italians  do not add oil  to the water in which the pasta is cooked. Real Italian pasta is of such high quality that it does not stick together during cooking, making the use of oil superfluous.

5. The secret of real mozzarella

Real mozzarella is made exclusively from buffalo milk.

6. They have the weirdest cheese in the world

Do you know “casu marzu”? This is the most original Italian cheese. ‘Casu marzu’ is sheep’s cheese produced in Sardinia and made using live fly larvae. They are also added to cheese and then eaten. Surprised?

7. Myths about Italian food

You will never find Spaghetti Bolognese in Bologna. Instead, look for “ragu” or “tagliatelle bolognese”. Caesar salad, pepperoni pizza, spaghetti with meatballs and Hawaiian pizza are other examples of dishes that are not a product of Italy.

8. Don’t forget Coperto

Our least favorite fun fact: Don’t be surprised if your restaurant bill is higher than you expected. “Coperto” is an additional amount added to the bill (1-2 EUR per person or table) and it is the cost of sitting at the table. This information should be displayed on the menu, so read carefully. Also remember that “coperto” is not a tip! 

9. Pasta lovers

63% of Italians eat pasta every day or almost every day. In total, they eat 23.5 kg of pasta a year. Italians are big fans of al dente pasta, which they say tastes better, but also allows you to stay full longer.

10. No spoon, please!

Italians don’t eat spaghetti with a spoon.

11. Feel the real flavor of ice cream

Real Italian ice cream should be stored at a slightly higher temperature than regular ice cream, and then, to give it the right texture and smoothness, it should be nibbled with a spatula or ‘paddle’. The best Italian ice cream contains less fat (3% -8%) than regular ice cream (10% -17%)!

12. Enjoy free water

Tap water is safe to drink in Italy. It costs nothing, it’s delicious and there are taps in many places.

13. Roman Posca

Posca was the drink of commoners and the army of ancient Rome. It was created by pouring low-quality wine and adding herbs and spices. It tasted like vinegar, but the posca was cheap, healthy to drink.

14. Latte – it’s milk

If you like coffee with milk, remember to ask for a “caffe latte”. If you ask for a latte you will get a glass of milk.

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