10 Surprising Facts about Italian Cuisine

As one of the most popular in the world, Italian cuisine is actually much more than just pizza and pasta. Filled with secret ingredients, Italian dishes immediately invoke admiration and sometimes even addiction!

So, here’s our top 10 interesting and unexpected facts about Italian cuisine:

  1. More than 450 different types of pasta and countless sauces are included in Italy’s cookbook.
  2. On average, Italians consume 23 kg (about 51 lbs) of pasta per year, while residents of other European countries consume about 6 kg (around 13 lbs) annually.
  3. By the way, the word “spaghetti” literally translates as “strings/threads”, and Italians call their pasta “maccheroni”.
  4. In the past, pasta was eaten directly with the hands, without the aid of knives and forks!
  5. Tomatoes, an essential ingredient in Italian cuisine, were only introduced to the country in the 1700s.
  6. Interestingly, classic Italian cuisine does not favor mixing pasta with meatballs or patties.
    Basic ingredients
  7. When the first fast-food restaurant opened in Rome in 1986, Italians felt so insulted that they organized a free spaghetti distribution in front of the establishment to remind their fellow citizens of the country’s gastronomic heritage.
  8. The following dishes are considered fundamental to classic Italian cuisine: olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, tomatoes, and seafood.
  9. In the country’s north, Italians prefer using butter over olive oil in cooking. Moreover, most dishes in this region are rice-based rather than pasta-based.
  10. Long before pasta was sold packaged in stores, every self-respecting housewife made spaghetti herself. The pasta was dried on special stands in Italian kitchens, often even outdoors. Even today, you can see this traditional practice.
Guide, traveler, marathon runner, journalist, creator of the site ITALY FOR ME. I live in Rome and am in love with Rome. On the subject of the article, please ask questions in the comments. I try to answer everyone at least once a day.

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