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Made in Italy

7 Italian Dishes That Are Actually Not Italian

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

There is no denying that Italy is home to some of the finest food in the world. Italian cuisine is revered across the globe and eaten by millions of people in a myriad of countries. In what may be a disappointing surprise for many however, many of the dishes we regard as classic Italian fare do not actually originate from Italy at all. Ask for some of the following dishes in Italy and you may get strange looks.

italian food imitation(photo by: Jhazmine Ver)

Spaghetti and meatballs - surely you can’t get much more Italian than that, can you? Well, the truth is, this dish is a favourite in the USA rather than Italy, with Italian immigrants making it popular. Although you can get meatballs in Italy, you will never see them served with spaghetti.

Another spaghetti dish that you would be hard pushed to find in Italy is Spaghetti Bolognese. It is certainly true that Bolognese sauce originated in the Italian city of Bologna but served with spaghetti? Not in Italy.

Pizza is popular the world over and an iconic Italian food. However, ask for a pepperoni pizza in Italy and what you get may not be what you expected. You see, the Italian word ‘peperoni’ means peppers. Diners who ask for pineapple pizza in Italy are also sorely disappointed.

Even some simple starters or sides that are associated with Italian cookery are not strictly Italian. Garlic bread is nowhere to be found. The same holds true for mozzarella sticks and even Italian dressing, which is more of an American tradition.

So just what can you expect to eat in Italy? Delicious traditional food is what, particularly in the Tuscan region. Stay in one of the many boutique hotels in Florence for example and you will be treated to such local delights as Beef Steak Florentine, artichoke pie, Florentine chicken and stewed squid. With food this good, who really needs Spag Bol and a slice of cold pizza anyway?

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer anna lia gerardi

I love travelling and writing about my experiences. From my early years I have kept a passion for different cultures and habits and for languages. I speak Italian and Spanish fluently, alongside my native English, and after many years of roaming around I have established myself in beautiful Rome. Google+

2 responses to “7 Italian Dishes That Are Actually Not Italian”

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  1. Edgar Zambrano says:
    April 6th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Everywhere you go.. the best Itaian food you may find is Pasta… and Cheese… lot of kind of Italina foods I love it

  2. AppSoAre says:
    June 20th, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    So they are apparently ‘italian’…
    I think many people are aware of that these italian foods have gone through modification to suit the American taste. And Pineapple pizza called Hawaiian– yes they started off at Hawaii with their local grown pineapples. Foods that have gone through modifications, yet have origin in Italy are called ‘Italian’ because yes they are!

    And what? Bolognese? Tagliatelle al ragù is the famous local food of Bologna. And yes, the Bolognese pasta and its name roots from that famous local food. So there IS, the true Bolognese in Italy. And they make fresh pasta, that is often really thin referred to as ‘angel hair’ — Just thinking about it makes me hungry.


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