Italy’s food customs are somewhat different than those of the United States. There are many differences, not only in the way that the food is prepared, but also in the way it is eaten. While dining in Italy, the Italians expect their customs to be followed. It is a sign of respect to dine in the same way they do while in their country. Italians get upset when they see people adding what they would consider to be “unnecessary” things on their food.This is why it is a good idea to know about the customs before eating in Italy.

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For example, Italians savor every bite of their food instead of rushing through their meal.  Fast food isn’t very common in Italy. Italian restaurants are even very strict about the customs. In fact, many of them don’t serve lunch until 1:00 p.m. or dinner until 8:00 p.m. Many restaurants don’t even send the bill to the table unless the customer asks for it.

There are even “rules” about specific foods. Spaghetti isn’t supposed to be cut, instead it should be twirled with a spoon. Cappuchino is normally only served with breakfast. It is rare for Italians to drink it with any other meal. Even certain drinks are forbidden. During a meal, water and wine are the drink options. However, soda is okay while eating pizza.

When people think of Italian Food, they normally think of pasta. However, there are many other popular foods in Italy. Pizza is an Italian food, although it is quite popular in America as well. Risotto, another popular food, is a rice dish that is usually flavored in different ways, and then cooked in broth. Minestrone is a soup made with beans and pasta, vegetables, and rice or potatoes. Tiramisu is a very common dessert. It is a coffee-soaked sponge cake with mascarpone cheese.

For my 4-H project this year, I made an Italian dessert. It is called Torta Rustica di Mele, which translates to rustic apple cake. Tortes are common desserts in Italy. They are basically just cakes with a rich texture. Tortes usually involve some type of filling, such as mousses, buttercreams, jams, etc. The torte originates from Central Europe. The name torte is derived from the Italian word “torta” , which means round shaped bread or cake.

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