Signs You’re Not In Italy

This is a collection of tweets on the theme. Enjoy! 🙂

On Coffee

Tell your barista! In a cappuccino, the foam shouldn’t be piled up with a tablespoon.
In Italy, the foam is creamy – not solid!

In Italy, “latte” is just milk; “moka” is a coffee maker, not coffee w/ chocolate;
“peperoni” means bell peppers, not cured sausage.

Not sure why Starbucks picked Italian names for their larger sizes.
But, if you order a Venti (twenty), it’s pronounced “ven-tee”!

Small, medium or large cappuccino? In Italy, it’s only one size –
the right amount of steamed milk for 1 shot of espresso.

An espresso takes 2 minutes to drink –
in Italy, the barista would *never* ask if the coffee is for here or to go!

On Pasta

Pickled vegetables in pasta sauce? No thanks! In Italy, nobody would like a sour sauce.
Brine sundried tomatoes or artichokes are OK.

“Fettuccini Alfredo” a well known classic?
In Italy, there is no Alfredo sauce – and you won’t miss it!

Salad and garlic toast on your pasta dish?
In Italy, all first courses are had without any bread and without sides.

In Italy, nobody refers to tomato sauce as “red sauce”, or to Béchamel as “white sauce”.
Except maybe for the 4-year olds!

Your “authentic” Italian restaurant has spaghetti with meatballs on the menu?
In Italy, that dish is totally extinct!

On Pizza

Ranch dressing on pizza? Garlic pizza dip? Cheese stuffed crust pockets?
In Italy, pizza doesn’t need any tweaks!

There is no such thing as “pizza” mozzarella! “Pizza” as an adjective
can be translated as “cheap”. Avoid it!

In Italy, pizza is never served pre-sliced. Nobody will slice it for you –
except for *maybe* your mom when you’re 5!

Freshly ground pepper being offered with your pizza? Never in Italy!
However, you may ask for chili oil.

On Bread

Labeling bread as “Tuscan” doesn’t make it more authentic,
it actually gives away quite the opposite: in Tuscany bread is unsalted!

Burrata served with sourdough bread in an (allegedly) Italian restaurant?
In Italy, no bread is sour.

Why is every slice of toast pre-buttered, with melted salty butter!
Italians like their jam on freshly spread *unsalted* butter.

On Cheese

Parmigiano is aged at least 12 months and crumbles when grated.
If the strands are too long, then it can’t be real Parmigiano.

There is no Grana Padano parmesan! Grana Padano and Parmigiano
are different cheeses, Parmigiano is better (aged more).

In Italy, there is no “parmesan” shaker! The powdery cheese that doesn’t go bad!

Cottage cheese doesn’t belong in lasagna!
Italians would cringe on the idea of cooking cottage cheese.

On Desserts

Cannoli = fried pastry shells w/ ricotta filling; cannoncini = rolled puff pastry
w/ pastry cream. In Italy nobody would mix them up.

Correction: In some parts of Italy, the former is called ‘Cannoli Siciliani’
and the latter ‘cannoli’ instead of ‘cannoncini’.

Weighing each gelato cup or cone to make sure the portion is not too generous is cheap!
You won’t see that in Italy.

In Italy, vanilla *is* a flavor – not a synonym of flavorless!
You can taste it in gelato because it has 1/2 of the sugar than ice cream.

In Italy, “biscotti” is the generic name for “cookies” –
not a hard, cigar-shaped cookie half dipped in chocolate!

Why are coffee cakes pre-sliced and the slices wrapped in plastic?
In Italy, they’d look like leftovers and never sell!

On Salads

“Balsamic” means “curative”. If you leave out the word vinegar,
then you must explain what’s curative in your drizzle!

Dressing is for salads, not for sandwiches – the dress goes outside, not inside!
Vinegar doesn’t belong in a panino.

On Supermarkets

Aisles of TV dinners, frozen pizzas, crackers and dips, chips and salsa?
Italian supermarkets make you want to cook!

Pre-sliced sandwich meat sold in piles?
Italians would never buy anything that wasn’t sliced in front of their eyes!

In Italy there is no need to write “Real Mayonnaise” or “100% Parmesan” –
what else can they be!?

Bottles of distilled and remineralized water?
In Italy, distilled water is not for drinking, natural mineral water is!

On Restaurants

You’re done eating in a restaurant and it’s 6.45 pm.
In Italy, most restaurants open at 7 and don’t get busy ’til 9.

North American restaurants give you free water and charge for bread.
In Italy, it’s the exact opposite.

How am I supposed to eat a steak sandwich? Should I cut steak and bread with a knife?
In Italy, the steak sits comfortably on the plate 🙂


Please, don’t cook prosciutto crudo, ‘crudo’ means raw!
Add to grilled sandwiches or to pizzas just before serving.

Paninis? Biscottis? Raviolis? In Italian, [panini, biscotti, ravioli] are the plurals of [panino, biscotto, raviolo]!

“Everything” bagel?! “All dressed” chips?! “Loaded” pizza?! “The Works” toppings?!

Why are there so many pre-made mixes?
In Italy nobody feels the need for seasoning salt, cheese mix, pre-made salad dressing.

Why are the ingredients so specialized? In Italy, there is no pizza mozzarella,
yogurt fruit dip, “theater-style” popcorn butter!

In Italy, if you ask for a Martini, you get straight vermouth from Martini & Rossi,
not a cocktail mostly made of gin.

4 thoughts on “Signs You’re Not In Italy”

  1. Good collection!
    Did you see the new Starbucks Verismo thing? I wonder who came up with the name and whether s/he knows what it means in Italian.

    1. Yes, I have seen it – I really doubt they know what it means in Italian. They got lucky, I guess, at least it's not a profanity 🙂

  2. In some parts of Italy (I'm speaking of Modena where I lived) cannoli are long, puff filled pastries and cannoli siciliani are fried pastry shells w/ ricotta filling.

    1. Thanks for the specification! Not all Italy call things the same way. I will make the due corrections 🙂

Comments are closed.