Italian etiquette at dinner
Italians love their food, and while showing passion for cuisine is always appreciated, especially by the host, there are a few things that you should never do when preparing, or eating, a meal.
1. Seasoning Pasta
This should always be done while plating up or serving, after all, everyone has different tastes. Adding condiments, herbs or sauces to pasta while it’s cooking is frowned upon.
2. Get the sauce right...
While many pasta sauces have rich tomatoes as a base, it doesn’t mean you can use tomato ketchup as a substitute. The taste is totally different and you’ll end up ruining your pasta with an overpowering taste of vinegar, not to mention too much salt.
3. ...And the tablecloth
Picture an Italian restaurant serving spaghetti. Now imagine the tablecloth. Did you imagine a red and white checked one? Set one of those at a family table and you’ll get odd looks. The classic look you’re thinking of exists only in tourist restaurants and movies. Real Italians use white (and risk the stains).
4. Plate up considerately
There may be a wide range of options on your menu, but give each the breathing space it deserves. Never be tempted to serve pasta and risotto on the same plate. Each serving should have its own dish.
5. Finish a meal with the right coffee
Italians love to finish a good meal with great coffee as much as anyone, but you’ll need to get the right type. A long black or espresso are fine, but if you want to fit in, leave the cappuccinos for breakfast time.