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When you enjoy a meal in an Italian Restaurant in Dublin like https://www.forno500.ie/ you may not be aware of some of the traditions and history behind some of the food you are enjoying:

  • Italians view lunch as the main meal of the day
  • Milky coffee drinks like cappuccinos are drunk first thing in morning with breakfast and are not an 11 o’clock delight like they are here in the UK.
  • Sitting down to eat is incredibly important as Italians view walking and eating at the same as very disrespectful.
  • Pizza was first invented in Naples in the 18th Century and was originally considered to be a poor person’s food, comprising of a dry, flat bread.

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  • A special bread-cake called Il Panettone is eaten traditionally at Christmas time and a dove shaped bread-cake is eaten at Easter called La Colomba.
  • Another tradition is for Italians to eat lentils on 1st January every year for good luck in the year to come.
  • Garlic bread is not as much of a staple in Italy as it is in the UK and garlic is not a seasoning that is widely used.
  • Spaghetti and meatballs are often depicted in films as an Italian dish, but it is not actually an authentic Italian meal and there aren’t many pasta dishes in Italy that come topped with large amounts of meat.
  • Pepperoni and Peperoni are two very different things. Pepperoni pizza (made with the spicy sausage we have all heard of) is not Italian in origin and more than likely hails from the United States of America. But what is authentic to Italian pizzas is “peperoni” which is the Italian name for bell peppers.

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  • Pizzas in Italy come with only one choice of base – thin, and the topping tend to be much simpler than those you find being delivered from any of the food chains in the UK with Margherita pizza being one of the most popular in Italy. Named after Queen Margherita of Italy who in 1889 tried the flat bread for the first time and enjoyed it so much that she asked her chef to create some for her. He decided to create one that contained foods that represented the colours of the Italian flag. He chose tomatoes, basil and naturally white cheese mozzarella and then named it in her honour. That was the start of the popularity of Margherita pizza.

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