It’ll come as no surprise that food means much more to Italian culture than just pottering away in the kitchen or sitting around the dinner table. The food has also crept its way into the language. Many Italian sayings use food terminology, even if the proverb or saying isn’t really about food. Illustrating how food is so integral to Italian culture and language, these sayings express emotions, concepts and wisdom through the language of food. Here are some of our favourite Italian sayings about food…
‘Mangiare per vivere e non vivere per mangiare’ ~ ‘Eat to live, don’t live to eat’
Italian wisdom at its finest. Italian cuisine follows a Mediterranean diet, focusing on simple, natural ingredients, such as tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, dark leafy greens and whole grains. This makes it one of the world’s healthiest diets. Hence why the Italians ‘eat to live.’ While here in England we tend to say something similar along the lines of ‘work to live, don’t live to work’ – showing our work-centric approach to life. Italians have a better outlook on life – evident in this traditional saying.
‘Chi mangia da solo si strozza’ ~ ‘He who eats alone chokes’
Italians are big on dining with friends and family. Eating is and has always been considered a social event in Italy. According to this traditional saying you should never eat alone. For Italians, food brings people together. Cooking and eating together remain a pillar of the Italian culture. In Italy, gastronomy is almost philosophy and much more – it’s the perfect moment to talk, share a laugh and strengthen relationships. In fact, the importance of food, home cooking and eating together within the Italian culture has been scientifically proven.
Gallina vecchia fa buon brodo ~ Old chicken makes good broth
This is a very common proverb in Italy. It refers to old chickens making for a tastier broth. (Did you know that chicken broth is a staple meal in the Italian diet?) This saying can be related to ‘old is gold.’ It simply means that ageing is generally a positive thing, whether that’s an older member of the family or an old family recipe. There is wisdom in age and some things even get better with age, like a fine wine or balsamic vinegar.
We hope you enjoyed some of our favourite Italian sayings! Be sure to come and embrace Italian culture and cuisine with your loved ones at Pasta Di Piazza. You’ll find us tucked away nicely in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter serving up our own traditional family recipes from Italy.
Take a look at our menu HERE