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Things Italians would never do or eat

Italian food is very much loved by the British, but they sometimes break the rules of cooking and eating Italian food, causing disapproval of Italian chefs and the embarrassment of Italians.

Let’s see some of the things Italians would never do or eat:

- Cooking “spaghetti alla carbonara” with cream instead of egg yolks is apparently a common mistake British restaurants make;

- Pasta should never be salted after being cooked but it should always be put in boiling water seasoned with sea salt;

- Parmesan mustn’t be put on seafood or clams, as it overpowers the sea flavours. The same goes for dishes containing truffles, because cheese kills the delicate balance of flavours. Grating Parmesan all over anything hot enough to melt it is another error, hated by Italian chefs. Also putting Cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan is an outrageous thing Italians in the UK often complain about;

- Burrata, the soft, white cheese, must be served warmer than room temperature, but some restaurants in the UK serve it cold;  


- Don’t eat bread with pasta or rice;

- Italians never have pineapple on their pizza;

- Olive oil is the key ingredient in pasta sauce, so never add double cream or butter to it, unless you are cooking “pasta al burro”, pasta dressed only with butter and cheese. 

- Pasta is never a side dish! Never use it to accompany steak or meatballs. Don’t make sauce with chicken, as in Italy there are no dishes featuring pasta and chicken. “Spaghetti Bolognese” should be made with tagliatelle and the sauce should be cooked following the strict “Ragù” sauce preparation, which includes 3 to 6 hours of low-temperature cooking. So, keep in mind there’s no shortcut to proper Italian taste;

- ketchup should be banned!

- As far as desserts are concerned, the worst mistake cooks make when creating the classic Italian dessert, “Tiramisu” is not using egg whites, which need to be whisked until they form soft peaks, and added to the custard to give the pudding a much lighter texture. Cocoa should always be added just before serving to stop it from getting soggy;

- When it comes to drinks, cappuccino is for breakfast and shouldn’t be drunk while having lunch or dinner. Espresso or a macchiato go after meals or can be drunk for a little boost, during the day.

- A cocktail is an aperitif, have wine or beer with your food!

Giulia Lombardo

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