What is Italian pizza and how is it customary to eat it in Italy? The answers to this question and “life hacks” were presented by the British newspaper The Sun. The selection of “useful tips” from an Italian living in London includes a lot of things that surprised tourists – but will be useful to them.
So, the tips for real pizza from an expert are as follows:
- Where can I buy? The Italian expert advises to avoid restaurants – “tourist traps” near attractions where the food is not only not authentic, but also very expensive, as well as large chain restaurants. They “usually sell mass-produced pizza” and it's not the original Italian pizza culture, and it doesn't meet quality standards either. Instead, he advises tourists to head to a local trattoria or pizzeria, where they prepare fresh pizza to order using traditional methods and high-quality ingredients. “A lot of traditional establishments often have a giant wood-fired oven in the middle of the restaurants, and you'll see the pizzaiolo chef cooking your pizza,” he said. Another life-hack is “avoid restaurants with extensive and varied menus” – they are most likely not authentic.
- What to buy? Here, the expert first of all warned tourists against the main mistakes – which, by the way, Russians can also make. So, tourists who order the popular pepperoni pizza in “authentic” places are likely to be misunderstood. “Pepperoni” in Italian is simply pepper. For lovers of spicy sausage pizza, he recommends ordering the “Devil” if you prefer the Italian version of pepperoni pizza or “pizza Nduya” – but this is for those who “like it hot”. Also, in Italy there is no pizza with ham and pineapples, which “strikes victoriously” in the Russian market under the name “Hawaiian”, most often. “Save yourself the hassle and don't try to order it from an Italian pizzeria. If you can't refuse fruit on pizza, you can opt for “pizza e fichi”, that is, pizza with figs,” the Italian advises. This is a “white” pizza that includes mozzarella, figs, ham and garlic. And the most beloved and popular pizza among Italians is the most common Margherita. “Italians also often say that if a restaurant can't make a good Margherita pizza, they probably won't be able to make any other pizza,” says the Italian expert.
- Sauces and other additions? The first thing the Italian warns about is that in Italy there are no and never have been dips for dipping “pizza crust”, popular in the English-speaking world. Chances are, a waiter in an Italian trattoria will not understand what they want from him, the expert warned. “Italians eat pizza just the way it is, without any sauces or extra cheese on top—it’s just as delicious as it is. However, sometimes you can find chili oil to add to your pizza,” he added. At the same time, pizza is usually served as a main course, but most pizzerias offer antipasti (snacks), which are usually served before pizza – a variety of bruschettas with tomatoes, olives and jerky, as well as cheese platter. Often a variety of “fritti”, deep fried foods such as “arancini”, fried rice balls with cheese and meat, or “fritti misti”, a selection of fried vegetables and seafood, are available at the pizzeria.
- What to drink? “In Italy, they do not approve of ordering cappuccino with pizza,” the Italian expert noted first. So he recommends that a tourist combine pizza with other drinks – perhaps lemonade, beer or aperol – or just water. “Ordering a cappuccino after a meal is also not allowed, so if you need a dose of caffeine, order an espresso,” adds the Italian.
- How to eat? “First, leave the fork and knife alone and just eat with your hands – it's much easier,” advises the Italian. For convenience, you can use the “paper pizza” or “pizza bag” method. To do this, you need to fold a piece of pizza in half so that the filling is inside and the dough is outside. “Once this is done, you can eat your slide like a sandwich and be sure that the filling will not fall out and stain you,” the Italian assured.
We add that not always authentic dishes are met with delight and understanding among tourists. For example, you can read about how traditional Spanish cuisine disappointed our tourist here.
For those who care about a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “A nutritionist listed deadly diseases that drinking coffee prevents.”