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In Italy, we are friendly people who love foreigners, and the fact that our cuisine is one of the most popular in the world delights us.

So even when we see putting pineapple on the pizza, ketchup on the pasta or breaking the spaghetti before putting it in the pan, we hide the little tears that come to our eyes and we endure with a smile, even if in reality we have a pang in our hearts.

To denounce once and for all these “crimes” culinary commitments committed internationally against Italian cuisine, we had fun interviewing several Italian expatriates in France (including myself, I am Italian, expatriate in France for 25 years) to list them.

We also did some research on the web, and we discovered that the subject had already been taken seriously by some Italian media to answer this crucial question:

“What are the culinary crimes that tourists or foreigners commit without realizing it towards Italian cuisine?”

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Discover the 10 culinary aberrations that Italians no longer want to see against their cuisine.

Break the spaghetti before immersing it in the cooking water

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So that they cook faster, to fit them more easily into a pan that is too small or even to eat them more easily once on the plate: we don’t really know where this strange habit of breaking spaghetti comes from. What is certain is that it is one of the gestures that tortures Italians the most and causes them an intense pang in their hearts according to polls (I confirm, Italian word).

Breaking the spaghetti means breaking one of the most important symbols of Italian food.
It’s like cracking the shell of parsley snails with a nutcracker or with a punch to eat them. Or throw an oyster against the wall and hope it opens.

The worst part is that by breaking the spaghetti in two, you won’t make it cook any faster, it will be exactly the same! In addition, when tasting they will be too short and the wrap around a fork will be a mission impossible. The spaghetti must be cooked whole in a large pot of boiling salted water: their movement in the water allows them to cook evenly, provided they are drained “al dente” afterward.

Rinse cooked pasta after draining it

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In the list of pasta crimes, there is another habit that could make any Italian scream: rinse pasta after cookingjust after draining them.

We justify this action by thinking that it will stop the cooking, or to prevent them from sticking. But in doing this, not only we remove the starch from the pastanecessary to coat them with sauce, but we also remove the taste of the pasta which will be de facto bland.

And if you want to prepare a pasta salad, here is the secret to stopping the cooking:

  • Drain the pasta very “al dente”, 2 minutes before the end of the cooking time indicated on the package.
  • Place the drained pasta in a large salad bowl
  • Toss them with a drizzle of olive oil and simply wait for them to cool, before tossing them into a salad with other ingredients.

Add cream to the carbonara

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There has been so much talk about it in several media, that now even the stones know that in real Italian carbonara there is no cream ! But this does not prevent pasta seasoned with eggs, bacon and cream from continuing to be called “carbonara”, and this name tortures the Italians. Nothing prevents you from preparing this dish if you like it, but let’s not call it “carbonara”.

If you want to taste a carbonarayou just have to count one egg per person, get some jowls (an Italian cold meat made from pork cheek), pecorino cheese or a mixture of pecorino and grated parmesan and spaghetti. See the recipe for spaghetti carbonara like in Italy.

Season the pasta with ketchup

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It’s especially popular with children or when you’re in a hurry, and it even seems that in Hong Kong and Indonesia, people love pasta with ketchup.

However, ketchup is far too sweet a sauce to do justice to the pasta. According to surveys, putting ketchup on pasta is one of the most intolerable “crimes” for Italians (in fact, just thinking about it gives me the famous pang in my heart).

Why use this product when you can easily and quickly prepare homemade tomato sauce? Our tomato sauce in Italy is called “messenger”. It is made with fresh or canned crushed tomatoes, which are cooked with olive oil, onions and basil leaves to flavor, when it is in season. Nothing’s easier. See the “sugo” recipe and the tips for making it successfully.

Put pineapple on pizza

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The Hawaiian pizza at the coast in France and many other countries. But for Italians this sweet/salty mixture represents the pizza massacre. It is even the culinary “crime” at the top in all surveys conducted on the subject.

Pineapple on pizza is like lemon on foie gras or pears in quiche Lorraine: it makes your teeth cringe. By putting the pineapple on the pizza, we no longer know if it is the main course or the dessert, and technically the pineapple with its juice and sugar will take over by distorting the taste of the pizza.

So, if we want a good pizza, but also a dessert based on pizza, the best is to take or prepare a margherita or another traditional pizza, and to share a white pizza (without mozzarella!) spread with spread? This is the pizza-based dessert that is offered in Italy in most pizzerias.

Not pairing the right type of sauce with the right type of pasta

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Propose to someonetallow “spaghetti bolognese”, or “farfalle cacio et pepe” or even “penne carbonara” and study his reaction. He will surely roll his eyes. And, if he is courageous, he will make you a counter-proposal: “Wouldn’t you rather have some tagliatelle for the bolognese?” or -: “Do you prefer spaghetti or cacio and pepe rigatoni?” or – : “carbonara is more for spaghetti”.

You might think that pasta “is pasta” and that you can put any sauce on it. Well no, in Italy there is at least 300 different types of pasta. This is no coincidence: the shape, size and texture of each type of dough lends itself to a specific type of sauce. The Italians make the right combination between dough and sauce instinctively, this practice is so anchored in our culture. Toto find out more, see the article “which sauce for which pasta?.

Place the drained pasta on the plate, without having previously seasoned it with the sauce

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How many times, even in restaurants, are we served drained white pasta on the plate with a spoonful of sauce on top, to mix by ourselves?

Then you have the best way to have sticky pasta that is difficult to mix with the sauce and make the Italians sad. In fact, the pasta should be mixed with the sauce immediately after being drained. In this way, they are fine coat yourself with sauce, they will remain smooth and well separated, without sticking. To find out more, discover the article “Why do you have to mix the pasta with the sauce before serving?”

Accompany the meal with a cappuccino

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It is a “crime” committed mainly by tourists Americans who visit Italy, but which is starting to be committed by the same tourists who visit France and have a meal in brasseries, which increasingly offer espresso coffee and cappuccino.

With its characteristic foam and its perfect mix between milk and coffee, the cappuccino is one of the favorite drinks of Italians to take the breakfast. We therefore only consume it in the morning, and we tolerate it as a snack in the afternoon. But never, ever, would we have a cappuccino to accompany a meal.

Can you imagine enjoying lasagna or a burger with candied onions and Fourme d’Ambert sauce while sipping a cappuccino at the same time? It’s too heavy, it’s a mixture of improbable flavors and it’s one of the worst “crimes” to massacre any cuisine and not just Italian!

Fold the flat pizza in half to eat it

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To properly enjoy a pizzaItalian pizza makers suggest cutting a slice, taking it by the edge with your hands, folding it slightly in “U” and eat it starting at the tip of the triangle: this way the stuffing will not escape and with each bite you have a good balance between the dough and the stuffing.

Some people take this advice perhaps a little too enthusiastically, and instead of folding the slice of pizza, they fold the pizza directly on itself, in a half-moon shape on the plate. Except that this way the stuffing moves towards the center, leaving most of the dough bare. We therefore have an unbalanced tasting, a mess of stuffing in the center of the half-moon of pizza and Italians who have a new opportunity to feel a pang in the heart or to roll their eyes.

To taste real folded pizza, head to Naples to taste the “wallet pizza”, which means “wallet pizza” in Italian. This is a pizza designed to be folded in four, with a well-distributed filling between the folds, which can easily be enjoyed while walking down the street.
This is why pizza a portafoglio is one of the street food the most widespread in this city, but which we are also starting to find in Paris.

Add cold water to espresso coffee

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Symbol of sweet lifegood living and Italian breaks, the café is a sacred ritual for Italians. It sounds a bit cliché, but we are truly devoted to this drink, like we are devoted to “mamma”, pasta and pizza.

Coffee is the drink we offer at home when we receive a visitor, and the one we take during each break. Have coffee espresso in bars is one of the most widespread traditions in Italy. A tradition which is gaining more and more foothold in France too. And what do we do when the coffee is too hot or when we want to enjoy it cold in summer?

To solve the problem, some add a splash of cold water directly into it. But what a mistake! This is the best way to losearoma coffee, to break its consistency. So it is time to stop this massacre.
If you want to cool the coffee, it is best to alternate a small sip of coffee with a small sip of cold water. This is why often in bars in Italy you are served your coffee accompanied by a small glass of water.

And for the summer, it is better to prepare a “cold coffee” a cold coffee, by putting a double espresso in a shaker or blender with two ice cubes and a little sugar. Once mixed, it is delicious and very refreshing.


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