What to cook for Christmas – Italian recipes

Are you spending Christmas in Italy? Let me give you a friendly advice: eat lightly on Christmas’ Eve or you won’t survive Christmas lunch. This is serious, I’m not jocking. Let me give you an example of how an Italian mind can work when you use the words Christmas and food on the same sentence. Some weeks ago I was having a conversation with my mother. It went more or less like this: Mom: Hey, we’re going to decide what to cook for Christmas. Mamma: Hey, dobbiamo decidere cosa cucinare per Natale. Me: Oooh no! Please, there are still three…

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Halloween in Italy

Halloween in Italy

What can you do if you’re spending Halloween in Italy? Are there some special events or should you resign yourself to having a boring night? As you know quite well, Halloween is a typical American custom. However, it seems that in the last years, Holloween is spreading more and more in Italy too. For example, not many years ago if you entered a supermarket you found costumes for sale only for Carnival. Nowadays, you can find costumes for Halloween too, together with pumpkins to carve, and sweets shaped like mummies, ghosts, or skulls. But Halloween is not spreading only in…

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Happy hour or aperitivo? – Italian customs

Happy hor or aperitivo?

Are you planning a low budget holiday in Italy? Then, aperitivo and happy hour might come in handy. But what are aperitivo and happy hour? APERITIVO The idea of aperitivo in Italy dates back to 1784, when Antonio Benedetto Carpano invented Vermouth, a drink made of white wine aromatized with more than 30 different spices and herbs. Nowadays, aperitivo indicates a beverage, usually an alcoholic one, that is drunk before meals to whet the appetite. During aperitivo you usually eat some appetizers too, like pizza, crackers, cheese, chips, peanuts and so on. Some of the most famous aperitivi in Italy…

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Authentic Italian pizza – history, curiosities, and recipes

Italian pizza

Pizza is the most famous Italian dish in the world. But what are the origins of this deliciousness? The first documented usage of the word pizza dates back to 997 AD. At that time, pizza was slightly different from the one everybody knows. In fact, it was a simple flatbread either with no topping, or usually topped with spices, cheese or meat. Then, after 1700, when tomatoes were finally considered eatable, Italians started to use them as a topping for flatbread. However, it was not until 11 June 1889 that the most known Italian pizza, pizza Margherita, was baked. Indeed,…

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How to recognize fake Italian food (Part 2)

Italian food

In How to recognize fake Italian food (Part 1), I explained how to spot real Italian food from quality labels. Today, I want to focus, instead, on how to recognize authentic Italian food just looking at traditional food labels. When Italians go to supermarkets they generally prefer buying products that have been produced, processed and prepared in Italy. Indeed, Italian products are usually subjected to specific controls that assure both their quality and citizens’ health. To help Italian citizens – and foreigners too – to understand where a product comes from, the government decided to oblige producers to write specific…

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