If you’ve been eating Italian food for a while, or you’re new to the cuisine, there’s probably a few details you might not know about. With many long-practised customs and traditions, Italy takes the enjoyment of food very seriously.

Here are just a few fun facts about Italian Food:

Lunch is the Main Meal of the Day

Food is a big part of any culture, but we all honour different traditions. Whilst Americans see breakfast as the most important meal of the day and Brits, the evening meal… Italians consider lunch to be the main meal of the day. Typically, pasta is enjoyed as the first course, followed by a meat dish, salad, fruit and then dessert! This of course isn’t always possible during a working day but it’s certainly the tradition!

No Milky Coffees After 11am

Whilst we may be convinced that Italians spend their days enjoying Cappuccino’s, Cortado’s and Macchiato’s, they don’t! These Italian-sounding names and the up-rise of fancy coffee shops are misleading us. Italians in fact are generally expected to enjoy a milky coffee like a cappuccino in the morning with their breakfast meal – but with any meal thereafter, an espresso is the norm.

You Should Never Eat Food Whilst Walking

Now this is a big one. Whilst in England it’s normal to grab a meal on the run when you’re in a hurry. In Italy, it’s almost unheard of! Italians take great pride in enjoying the food they eat. It’d be abnormal to even stand whilst eating over there, let alone whilst rushing to work. Instead, they take time to enjoy the food and the experience that brings. Taking time to find calm and pleasure in eating is important and ensures you appreciate the food more.

Pizza was once Considered Food for Poor People

The first style of Italian Pizza was the Neopolitan pizza, most likely born on the streets of Naples. This flatbread served with a variety of toppings, was mostly sold to poor people, but has since paved it’s way into fine-dining Italian restaurants across the globe. Though it wasn’t until 1738 that the first pizza restaurant opened in Italy. It was named Antica Pizzeria Port’ Alba.

Bread is not a Traditional Appetiser

So we’ve all experienced the moment where we take your order, and a basket of bread is brought to the table shortly after. Whilst many of us begin to enjoy the freshly-baked Italian delight as we wait for the arrival of our starters, in Italy it’s actually enjoyed at the end of a meal. Used to mop up the remaining sauces on the plate, this tradition is known as ‘Fare la Scarpetta’. You should try it!

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