Italian food is consumed by people worldwide, but how much do you really know about this cuisine? There are so many unknown facts and common misconceptions about this popular type of food. Here are some interesting tidbits of information that may surprise you.
These Dishes Did Not Originate In Italy:
- Believe it or not, caesar salad was not created by Italians! Although you will find this creamy salad on almost every Italian menu, it was actually created in Tiajuana, Mexico.
- Italy may be the birthplace of pasta; however, putting meatballs on top of spaghetti is not an Italian dish. Americans were the ones that combined these two ingredients together to create what we know as spaghetti and meatballs.
- Although commonly served at Italian restaurants here in America, garlic bread dipped in olive oil is not an Italian tradition. The bread you find in Italy is very plain and used strictly to soak up the leftover sauce.
- You can find over 600 different types of pasta in various shapes, sizes, and ingredients. The different shapes of pasta are paired with certain kinds of sauce.
- For many Italians, pasta is served for at least one meal per day. The average amount of pasta a person in Italy consumes per year is 51 pounds.
- Each region of Italy has very different sauces and ways to prepare their pasta meals.
If you have ever been to Italy, you know how important coffee is to everyday life. You will see people sitting at outdoor cafes sipping espresso and cappuccinos at all times of the day. Unlike Americans, Italians often consume espresso as a cap to dinner late at night. A whopping 97% of Italians drink coffee daily at an average of 2.2 coffees per person. You will have no issue finding a cafe on the streets of Italy. They are everywhere!
Italy in America
Somewhere along the way, traditional Italian food was changed to fit the wants and needs of Americans. If you plan to visit Italy, it is essential to know what is really Italian versus the American version. If you look hard enough, you can still find Italian-owned restaurants that will give you a good idea of traditional Italian cuisine. Here at Strega, we take pride in our Italian background and are dedicated to keeping many traditions alive. Come into our restaurant for a real Italian experience.