Written by Arnaldo Pangia

When they talk about food and traditions, Italians are very strict and pretty inflexible.

There are some, actually, a lot of, severe rules that everyone knows and nobody talks about. You all know we take food very seriously, so let’s see some common mistakes about Italian food tradition, take some notes!

1. Cappuccino after a meal

In Italy, ordering a Cappuccino after a meal, or in general, after 12 p.m. is something so unusual and wrong at the same time for most of us. A Cappuccino is considered a morning drink, perfect for breakfast: after every meal, Italians drink a coffee, usually an espresso, in order to digest the food or simply as a habit. That’s it.

2. Pasta with ketchup

This is something that all Italians consider almost shocking: yes, it is true when they say that you can cook pasta almost with everything, and that’s good right? Well then, from that “everything” please take off ketchup.

Now, we all know that ketchup for someone can be similar to tomato sauce and maybe taste good with some pasta and eggs (I know it from some Portugues friends) but please don’t do it in front of an Italian if you don’t wanna be slightly insulted.

3. Pasta as a side dish

I recently discovered that is something pretty common outside of Italy to eat pasta as a side dish. Well, I am pretty sure that doesn’t matter where are you in Italy, this is something that you will probably never see. Pasta is and will ever be a main dish.

4. Parmesan on pasta with seafood

Just a simple question: why? We don’t understand. Why do you need some parmesan on seafood? Why covering the soft and delicate taste of it with some strong tasting cheese? If you ask for it, people will probably look at you really bad.

5. Drinking cappuccino or sweet drinks while eating

More than once, abroad, I saw someone drinking a sweet and heavy drink like a milkshake or something like that while eating lunch. You will never absolutely see something like this in Italy: just water, wine, beer. Stay simple, please.