My black list of worst fake italian food in the world

My black list of worst fake italian food in the world

Something you can find in italian restaurants around the world but unacceptable for italian people

Lots of narrow minded italians go on holiday abroad searching for italian food… but are they don’t find what they were thinking of… because if you are 10 000 km from home it’s very likely to find something different from your expectations.

Here there are my black list of worst fake italian food in the world:

Hawai Pizza

This is impossible to find in Italy. Pineapple on pizza is something disgusting and offensive for us, as I said in a previous post, because Pizza is one of the most iconic italian product, we are very proud of it and we don’t want it to be ruined. Traditional food has a very deep meaning in everybody’s soul and we want to protect our history, our childhood, our roots because everybody first judges food by their mind… if it’s good in your mind, it will be good in your mouth.

No good to think is no good to taste.

Once in a pizzeria, table next to mine, there were two tourists, I think germans by thier accent, and they asked for pineapple-ham pizza.

Waiter changed expression, he was shocked, nobody ever asked for something like that… “sorry but no way” he said.

Remember: pizza first and pineapple later as a dessert as any other fruit.

Alfredo’ sauce

It is something extremely popular in US but nobody knows what it is in Italy.

Well actually almost nobody, there is a restaurant in Rome called “Alfredo” wich claim to be the house of the original sauce but is something for tourists because italians don’t use alfredo’sauce. The closest is just called “burro e parmigiano” (butter and  parmesan) without tons of cream and is not just for fettuccine but any shape of pasta. In Italy that is an extremely simple pasta, basic level, maybe first kind of pasta we learn to do or it’s something we eat when we’re not feeling very well with stomach.

It gets even worse when we hear something like “chicken alfredo fetucini” because there is another thing impossible for italians: chicken on pasta.

Mac n cheese

We’re talking about elbow pasta with a mixture of butter, cream and an a questionable amount of cheese.
This is the underrated one in this list because it’s not mentioned by italians when they talk about fake italian food in the world.
In my opinion is one of the worst indeed and one of the most offensive because it is used, very often, as side of something: steak, burgers or something else.

Once again, it’s not a matter of flavour, I’m not discussing flavor but I’m talking about the use of that food. Pasta is not a side to anything, it is a course of the lunch with same dignity such as meat or fish, in Italy.
Everywhere else in the world, pasta and rice are used as side to something but in Italy, we eat pasta first (or rice) and main course after that because every single recipe is by itself so can really enjoy different flavors.

To use mac n cheese as topping on pizza or burger is really nasty because pasta is not an ingredient, it’s a course.

Repeat after me ”Pasta is not an ingredient, it’s a meal”. Come on you can do it!

Chicken parm

Fried chicken cutlet topped with tomato sauce and cheese.

The greatest problem with this recipe is to associate it to one of the most iconic italian food: Parmigiana Eggplant. The legend says that when italians reached USA, it was easier for them to get chicken rather then good eggplants and they replaced it with chicken or veal.

It can be good but eggplant parmigiana is a different planet, it is a confort food, feast food, sunday lunch meal something you associate with your granny or your mum; it is really important for us… in italians’ heart parmigiana, pizza and pasta are on the same level.

Wrong Carbonara

Sometimes, in my cooking classes I propose to teach Carbonara and I don’t get much acceptation as I thought. People say they don’t like it and I feel like I’m dying.
But it’s not their fault because this amazing pasta recipe is the most messed up italian food all over the world.
I witnessed wrong carbonara in UK and USA with: cream, peas, bacon, milk, mushrooms, parsley, basil, ham, parmigiano… No way… none of theese is required for a real original Carbonara sauce.

Furthermore I saw a lot of wrong shape of pasta, paired with that sauce: no tortellini, no fettuccine, no linguine, no penne, no fusilli.

This is very important for me because I’m roman and Carbonara is the most iconic roman pasta.

  • Pasta shapes allowed: spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, mezze maniche.
  • Ingredients for sauce: eggs, pecorino romano cheese, black pepper, guanciale (pork cheek).

So when you’re about to eat a mushrom-peas carbonara, a pineapple pizza or a mac n cheese pizza; please think twice… you’re hurting an italian somewhere in the world.

Chef Matteo Ferroni

 

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