After 12 – no, no! And 4 more rules of etiquette at the Italian table

After 12 — no-no! And 4 more rules of etiquette at the Italian table

They eat strictly according to the schedule, do not snack on the go, drink coffee with water, and drink tea only when they are sick. What else do you need to know about the traditions of Italians, so as not to confuse the first with the second, and the appetizer with dessert? Unusual rules of Italian table etiquette – in the list of “Subtleties”.

1. Cappuccino up to 12

In Italy, cappuccino is considered the drink of the first half of the day: locals start a new day with a cup of coffee with milk, and after 11-12 hours they order espresso. Italians believe that when used with main dishes, cappuccino can cause heaviness in the stomach, because it contains milk. It is generally not customary to drink coffee with food in Italy: they drink it only at the end of a meal to improve digestion.

2. Pasta for the first meal

Dishes for lunch or dinner are served in a strict sequence: they start with light snacks (antipasti), for the first they prepare pasta, risotto or ravioli, for the second – meat or fish with a side dish, at the end they bring fruit. Each type of pasta has its own sauce and a special kind of grated cheese. Bread with the first is not eaten here, because this role is played not by our traditional soups, but by dishes from flour products or rice. Italians prefer pasta al dente, that is, slightly undercooked: it is slowly absorbed by the body, and they do not get better from it. And in order to get a texture that is more familiar to us, you need to order cotta bene pasta, that is, “well-cooked”.

3. Spaghetti without ketchup

Sprinkling spaghetti with ketchup is bad form: in Italy it is used at best as a condiment for french fries. Spaghetti is served with marinara – a red sauce made from fresh tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano. In general, in Italian cuisine, a sauce is a complete dish that requires special attention, and an incomprehensible mass from a tube is simply not capable of replacing it.

4. Fruits for dessert

It is customary in Italy to finish a meal not with sweets, but with fruits: here they are considered not a light snack, but a full-fledged dessert. Locals treat sweets rather reservedly, and on weekdays they confine themselves to cookies or a bun for breakfast. Cakes and pastries are a decoration of the festive table, and not an everyday yummy.

More related readings

  • Why is their pasta better than our pasta?
  • Living up to 40 years with your mother and 4 more rules of life for Italians 5. And no phones!

    Food for Italians is perhaps the main pleasure in life, from which nothing should distract. You can only combine eating with a leisurely table conversation or watching TV running in the background. But answering the phone is considered impolite: everyone knows the schedule of lunches and dinners, and a decent person will not call anyone during these sacred hours. In extreme cases, you can leave the table with the phone and end the conversation as soon as possible. Putting the phone on the table and looking at it from time to time is also bad manners: it is better to leave it in your bag or pocket. And even more so, do not take pictures while eating.

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