A recent question in Quora, the Internet information and opinion sharing platform, asked: How can you spot an American in Italy?
Joseph Panzarella, who lives in Brazil but who has travelled the world, says a â€˜litmus testâ€™ might be linguine alle vongole, long, thin strips of pasta with a clam sauce. When he was young, he says, it was a favourite Friday night dinner dish and â€œWe always ate it covered with lots of grated cheese.â€
Joseph adds: â€œWant to spot the American in Italy? Heâ€™s the one insisting that the server bring grated cheese for his linguine with clam sauce while the server is insisting that it must never be eaten that way.â€
I don’t think it is just Americans, but many other foreigners, too, including we Brits, who canâ€™t resist a Parmesan sprinkle.
The Italians, who take their food very seriously, think the cheese overwhelms the subtle flavour of the clams (or any other fish). There are horrified if you sprinkle cheese on them. There is a similar restriction on drinking cappuccino after lunch, but this is more a matter of digestion than taste. (See our blog on this.)
I tend to be more relaxed and say that people can eat or drink what they like, when they like. On the other hand, Iâ€™d be horrified, too, if people put marmalade on their kippers, or ice in their single malt Scotch whisky. (A sacrilege!)
Come and enjoy true Italian cooking on a Watermill creative course. But I don’t think you’d make our cooks happy if you sprinkled Parmesan on their fish dishes or put ice in Bill’s malt whisky.
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