Values and Attitudes related to foods -
Italians value their food and think of it very highly. The meaning of togetherness that eating a meal together means a lot to the traditional Italian culture. Italians living in Italy will barley ever chose to eat food from another culture. They take lots of pride in their cooking and often a lot of Italians are great cooks. Italian cooking prides itself on using not many ingredients, but using very high quality ingredients.
The Rules -
There are two simple rules of Italian food eat locally and eat seasonally. Imported foods are changing this, but loyal Italian cooks would never eat asparagus, tomatoes or artichokes not in season. Food is part of the rhythm of life, and so Italians keenly wait for the arrival of seasonal ingredients from mushrooms in the autumn to wild strawberries in the spring.
Traditional Italian meal patterns -
At home Italians do not usually have a very big breakfast, it is usually nothing more than a cup of coffee with something little and sweet to eat.
Many Italians have breakfast on their way to work, stopping at their favourite café for a coffee with a cornetto (Pastry often filled with jam, cream or chocolate).
Having a cup of coffee at the bar or café is a daily ritual for Italians, at breakfast, morning tea or after lunch.
Whether it is an espresso coffee, a cappuccino or one of the many other types of coffee in Italy, it is usually drunk standing at the bar rather than sitting down at a table.
Lunch is typically the main meal of the day with Italians often returning home from school or work to have a meal with the family.
The first course (“primo”) is normally any type of pasta cooked any way with a lot of different sauces.
The main course (“secondo”) usually is meat or fish with vegetables or salad. This is sometimes followed by fresh fruit a dessert at the weekend.
Italy offers a great range of wines famous all over the world and many people will still enjoy a glass of wine with their meal even though there is a need to drink wine only on special occasions rather than an everyday drink.
The afternoon meal is normally lighter (soups, salad, cold meats, cheeses, vegetables and fruit) but in the big cities many people are not able to go home for lunch which means they may now have their main meal in the afternoon when the whole family can get together round the table and talk about what happened in their day.
Italy started to modernise late compared to other