Italian Food Customs

Want to know about the customary traditions that surround Italian food? Read on to find out some of the amusing aspects related to the consumption of food in Italy.

The customs and traditions that surround Italian food go far and beyond those tasty delights that they consume. Rather there is a lot of history and mystery involved in the do’s and don’ts of Italian food customs. Don’t be surprised if you can’t make any sense out of some of the customary traditions related to food.


Take for example Italy’s favorite food item pasta and you will find many strings attached to it. Consider the different shapes of pasta that you get. Every region has its own different special shape to the pasta although all of them taste the same. Still, to the Italians the shape of the pasta is something very important. It is common knowledge that the Italians have a million different pasta recipes derived from the many different regions in the country. Each of these recipes has its own special shape of pasta which cannot be replaced by another. Although replacing the pasta would make no difference to the taste but it will still be considered as an insult to that dish in particular and the Italian food custom in general.

Italian Coffee Customs

Coffee is an integral part of the Italian cuisine. Many of the different kinds of coffee drinks that we have around the world have originated from Italy. We commonly see people having coffee with milk but it was the Italians who first started the trend with the Cappuccino which has coffee, milk and an addition of milk foam on top. In the west and generally around the world you can go for a cup of coffee whenever you feel like. This attitude however is not generally adhered to in Italy as coffee (especially with milk) is only a breakfast drink. You will be getting odd stares from your Italian cohorts if you are seen sipping on a cup of cappuccino in the evening or post dinner.

Italian Salad  Consumption

When it comes to the main meals there are many twists and turns in the Italian customary traditions. For example we are all used to having salad as an entrance to the main course. In Italy however salad is never served as an entrance except to a few foreigners who insist upon it. Traditionally the Italians take their salad as a side dish to the main course and never before it.

Lunch is the heaviest meal of the day and is basically the main event of the day that has to be respected. Timing is something very crucial for the Italians and you will find that almost all restaurant kitchens close at around 2:30 after which you will have to suffice with a sandwich. Italians are very peculiar about their lunch timings. If for instance an Italian traveling to a foreign land misses the lunch time that his body is used to eating at, he will miss lunch all together saying that he missed lunch time so he can’t have lunch anymore!

Even when some Italians travel abroad they prefer to eat from an Italian restaurant because they do not trust the cuisine of other countries. One thing the Italians hate is when other people try and mix Italian cuisine with their local style of cooking. Adding ketchup to your pasta dish will make an Italian flip! Hence we see that there are many amusing customs surrounding Italian food.

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