Home food Authentic Italian Food Might Look Different Than You Think (Chicken Alfredo is not a real dish)

Authentic Italian Food Might Look Different Than You Think (Chicken Alfredo is not a real dish)

written by M.E. Evans April 10, 2014
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13 comments

kiwigirlattemptingitalian April 10, 2014 at 8:08 am

Are the tiny baby fish not whitebait?

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rickzullo.com April 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I’ll take the pasta (paccheri?) with clams and parsley! Regarding the baby fish, my Sicilian mother-in-law uses them to make “fishballs.” Yes, just like meatballs with little baby fish all rolled up together, breaded, and fried. I’m not sure if she’s aware that they are considered contraband, but somehow I doubt that she’d care.

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M.E. Evans April 14, 2014 at 12:16 am

My father-in-law exclaimed, “These are illegal!” right before he shoved a heaping spoonful in his mouth. Comical.

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rickzullo.com April 14, 2014 at 12:35 am

Right. “Illegal” is subjective in Italy.

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M.E. Evans April 14, 2014 at 12:39 am

It’s so true. It’s actually hilarious trying to explain “illegal” to Francesco in the US. He thinks it’s “subjective” and then he gets in trouble or receives a big ass traffic ticket and is all, “WHAT IS THIS!?” He finds it shocking that the laws are enforced in the US.

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Mani (A New Life Wandering) April 11, 2014 at 1:46 am

I am very aware authentic Italian food is not at all like you find in other countries, But I must say I was surprised about the fries.

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M.E. Evans April 14, 2014 at 12:15 am

Right? French fries are a thing. I’m always surprised as well.

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Pippa Pirrip April 11, 2014 at 1:56 am

I may have already told you this, but just in case, i think you’ll appreciate it. When I was in Florence last year, it was a week before Easter which is also apparently a Christian holiday, which I think may have been why Florence was overrun with Ugly Americans. The best example I have ever witnessed as to why American tourists get labeled such happened my last night in town.

I don’t eat late. I’m a morning person and when most of Europe is ready for dinner, I want to be in bed, so I’m always that one weirdo in a restaurant right after it opens. On this particular night, I’m sitting quietly in a corner inserting every carb possible into my face and in walks a very large (3 generations), very loud family with very glaring Jersey accents. I kind of look over and cringe, but go back to my food without much more than maybe the same eye roll I’d give if this happened in actual Jersey. But not long after, suddenly there is absolute fucking pandemonium. I have no idea how all of this came to be, but the mother of this family, who is all of about 5’2 and 98-lbs, is suddenly on her feet and screaming at the waiter (and I quote) “You listen to me, buddy! We’re more EYE-talian than you and if my kid says he wants spaghetti with meatballs, then you go make him spaghetti with fuckin’ meatballs!”

I was embarrassed on behalf of everyone ever.

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M.E. Evans April 14, 2014 at 12:15 am

Ah, I remember this! You told me about it and I’m just as shocked this time as the first time. Actually, shocked isn’t really the right term because I’m not surprised by their behavior, I guess it’s more embarrassed that Americans can be so fucking pompous and horribly spoiled. It’s something that people complain about a lot with us, that we always expect the rest of the world to become the USA when we’re abroad. Once in Mexico I saw a woman screaming at a little boy because she asked him where an ATM was and he didn’t understand. She was acting like HE was the idiot for not speaking HER language in HIS country. I was furious and screamed at her. It’s one of the many reasons that the world isn’t fond of Americans.

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Pippa Pirrip April 15, 2014 at 12:42 am

Yes! I had a conversation with my server after this happened (during which I apologized on behalf of America & she kindly refused to believe I was American.) I told her that woman was the exact same type of person who probably screams “Learn English!” at anyone with so much as an accent here.

I’m glad you screamed at that lady, what a bitch! Yeah, scream at a kid, real classy… Ugh. Can one be xenophobic of one’s own countrymen?

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Allane Milliane May 12, 2014 at 6:06 pm

There is no food like Italian!! These pictures really made me hungry. Really liked your blog, like me you are an expat…I am from Brazil, live in Germany and married to a German 🙂

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M.E. Evans May 27, 2014 at 11:59 am

Oh, that sounds interesting. I imagine that Germany is the opposite of Brazil in every way. What does your family think of your German husband?

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Packing my Suitcase May 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm

hahaha yes it is! My family love my husband… he is the first man in my life that my father likes hahhaha, so it really means something 🙂

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