Many people claim to be Italian food lovers, yet some of them are not aware of the customs associated with the cuisine.
Understanding the traditions is the key to truly enjoying your experience while partaking in these culinary delights.
Lunch Is Integral
In most cultures, lunch is seen as merely a way to nourish yourself in the middle of the day. It is usually seen as less important and formal than the evening meal.
Italians have a totally different mindset when it comes to this particular meal.
They set aside a fair amount of time to relax and enjoy every bite. In fact, there are occasions when completing this meal takes hours.
An interesting thing to remember is the fact that lunch is always eaten at a certain hour that is set aside for that purpose.
If someone happens to miss it, it is totally skipped since it is not considered acceptable to eat this meal at an undesignated time.
Salad Is A Side
While some countries offer Antipasto salad and refer to it as a meal, this is not something that occurs in Italy.
Salad is always seen as a side item that accompanies the main course.
If you were to visit Italy and you requested to be served one as a beginning to a dining experience, it is likely that your request will be totally ignored.
Also, it is never as imaginative and filled with as many ingredients as it is elsewhere.
Greens are the only vegetable and they are served with a dressing of balsamic vinegar, lemon, oil and salt.
When you are looking for a beverage to have alongside your meal, you must select wine, beer or mineral water if you want to be traditional.
Other beverages are not acceptable (children are exempt of course). In that case, soda is an option for kids.
Milk is never given as an accompaniment to a meal since it can mute the flavour and change the entire food experience, and not in a good way.
Seafood And Cheese
Both of these are extremely important when it comes to authentic Italian cuisine. Even so, they should not be served together.
You may have heard of Shrimp Alfredo and grated cheese being served on seafood pasta, but this is not something you will find in authentic Italian eateries.
There are different explanations that have been offered over the years as to why this is not acceptable. Mare Monte is one of the most common.
This is the idea that the mountain and the sea should not meet when it comes to cooking.
Plenty Of Dishes
It is not customary for all types of food to be served together on the same plate.
Each individual item is offered on its own plate. Even if you are being served bread alongside your meal, it should never rest on the same plate as your entree.
This may not seem like such a huge deal since every Italian meal does not have a lot of courses, but this is the total opposite on special occasions.
For instance, numerous courses are offered during weddings and each must be on a new dish – no exceptions.
So there you have it. You can now you can call yourself a true Italian food lover.
You have taken the time to learn more about all of the traditions and customs that are part of this cuisine and that means a great deal, especially if you visit the country.
Even if you decide to dine at places that do not follow these guidelines precisely, at the very least you are aware of the way that things should be served.
At Osteria 20, we offer an authentic Italian dining experience with service that is second to none.
Conveniently located in Hawthorn, please come and visit us today at Osteria 20.