7 Italian Dishes That Are Not Really Italian

Nya Crea

Photo by Alan Hardman on Unsplash

The first time I went to the USA, was my first time out of the country so I had no idea what to expect in terms of food and lifestyle.

I remember going to an Italian restaurant and finding some dishes on the menu that don't exist in Italy, so I realised that a lot of Italian dishes abroad were born as a mixture of Italian and a mixture of other cultures but nonetheless I found them delicious as ever!

In fact, some dishes that are passed as "Italian" are not originally from Italy and you might be surprised to know that it's not an Italian custom to cook them, so if you are planning to come for a holiday, just know that you probably won't be able to find the same dishes you are used to enjoying at home!

1 Fettuccine Alfredo

This is probably the dish that shocked me the most when I discovered it.

When my friends took me to an Italian restaurant on my trip to Texas, they pointed on the menu that I could order "fettuccine alfredo". They obviously were expecting this dish to be familiar to me, but to their surprise, I actually never tried it because it doesn't exist in Italy!

2 Spaghetti Meatballs

We eat these two things in Italy but the difference is that they never go together!

Italians usually eat spaghetti with tomato sauce or/and meatballs as a second dish.

There is no such thing as a "Main Meal" in Italy, we have a first dish and a second dish called primo and secondo. Unfortunately, if you planned to try the famous spaghetti meatballs in Italy, I have bad news for you, it just doesn't exist!

3 Chicken Parmesan

For similar reasons why spaghetti and meatballs aren't served together in Italy, the same rule goes for chicken and pasta.

There is actually no kind of pasta served with chicken in Italy!

However, if I have to be honest I find this combination delicious, mostly the Cheesecake Factory recipe!

4 Macaroni and Cheese

You guessed it! Nope. This is a 100% American recipe.

We don't make macaroni and cheese during the Holidays or on a Sunday Lunch. I also didn't know about the existence of this dish and while it is true that most Italian pasta dishes have cheese in them the difference consists in the preparation.

Overcooked pasta full of fatty cheeses is just a no-go in Italy.

5 Garlic Bread

You will not be served garlic bread with a pasta dish or pizza in Italy, and if you ask, your waiter will have absolutely no idea what you are talking about!

When you sit down in an Italian restaurant you will usually find bread or breadsticks on the table. You also won't find oil and balsamic vinegar on the table as you do in many restaurants abroad. Our version of the American Garlic bread is a simple bruschetta toasted on the fire and brushed with a garlic clove, topped with tomatoes salt oregano and extra-virgin olive oil.

6 Italian Dressing

It doesn't exist in Italy, our actual salad dressing consists of a mix of extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt and oregano.

Italian culture is based on natural and ingredients that are free of preservatives. So why buy an already made seasoning full of fake ingredients salts and fats when is so easy to make your own?

7 Pepperoni Pizza

The closest thing you could get in Italy would be salame on your pizza or "pizza alla diavola" but if you asked for a Pizza pepperoni you are guaranteed to get puzzled looks. In fact, the word "peperoni" in Italian corresponds to bell peppers.

Order a pepperoni pizza and you will most likely get a pizza topped with bell peppers!

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I love to set trends, my field of expertise is music and entertainment but I also love to talk about lifestyle and what's trending at the moment. Expect to find interesting tips, music advice and interviews but also food blogging (yes I'm a foodie), pretty much, anything that interests me or sparks my attention, I promise to bring it to you!


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