Italian cuisine is famous all over the world, so much so that its widespread diffusion has given rise to extravagant reinterpretations of its most typical recipes and fueled the proliferation of myths and curiosities.
Let’s look at some of them!
5 curiosities about Italian cuisine that are underestimated
1. When to salt the pasta water
The eternal dilemma: before or after the water comes to a boil? In theory, one salts the water only after because the salt content would go to slow down the process. Many people, however, salt as soon as they put the pot on the stove to avoid forgetting! Minute more, minute less does not change much. To be avoided, however, is the mistake of giving even a minute more to the pasta in the pot!
2. Drink water before coffee
Coffee in the morning is an indispensable Italian tradition, but not everyone knows that it is healthier to drink a glass of water before coffee. This is because when we wake up we are dehydrated and coffee is a diuretic. A glass of water, on the other hand, represents a healthy habit because it balances hydration levels before taking the ritual coffee.
3. The first spaghetti in literature
The first written mention of spaghetti in literature, more specifically in travel chronicles, dates back to 1154, when the Arab geographer Al-Idrin arrived in Palermo and described a typical dish that was eaten here: tryha, a food consisting of strands made from wheat flour, the ancestors of our spaghetti!
4. The name of mozzarella
In the Neapolitan dialect the word “mozzare” means to cut, which in the processing of mozzarella indicates a precise step in its preparation. The first record of this word dates back to 1570, when the writer Bartolomeo Scappi mentions in a book devoted to regional cuisine a local cheese, mozzarella, which was destined to become famous throughout the world.
5. History and cuisine
When we refer to Italian cuisine we think of a tradition with deep historical roots. But sometimes we forget that in recent centuries the variety of vegetables has been incredibly enriched by a fact that disrupted not only the history but also the gastronomy of Europe: the discovery of America. Peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, corn and squash entered our diet gradually only from the 16th century onward. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
5 false myths about Italian cuisine
1. Pepperoni pizza
Very famous abroad, the pizza with sausage called Pepperoni does not actually exist in the peninsula. At most there is pizza with peppers, but to get sausage here you have to ask for it in addition!
2. Fettuccine Alfredo
Here is another dish famous abroad but almost unknown here at home: fettuccine Alfredo. Seasoned with butter and Parmesan cheese, outside Italy they pass for a typical first course.
3. Ketchup on pasta
Okay, it’s still a red-colored sauce, but ketchup has nothing to do with tomato sauce. We don’t even need to spend any more words, true lovers of passata will understand.
4. Rice or pasta as a side dish
When traveling outside the Bel Paese it sometimes happens to find a dish with various ingredients accompanied by a portion of pasta or rice as a side dish. In Italy, pasta and rice are never a side dish, but are always served as a first course. Any other fancy mixing is not part of our traditional gastronomy!
5. Pasta with chicken
On the bizarre toppings of pasta abroad a book could be written. Among them is chicken. In our recipes, you have never seen pasta topped with chicken and peas as if it were a salad, yet outside our borders you see all kinds of them!
One last curiosity about mocha.
It may have occurred to you that some friend after a meal together proposes to wash the dishes and sets about opening and soaping the freshly used mocha.
But it is common knowledge that the coffee pot does not wash!
To preserve the taste of coffee as much as possible, it is a good idea to rinse all the components of the moka pot exclusively with water.
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