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Lordy, he doesn’t even know about food

As he put it, when Italian cuisine got to America, portions increased in size, the amount of meat increased considerably and sauces got laid on thick.

This is not how Italians do things. They eat human sized portions, designed to meet need and not greed. Meat is used, but never to excess, largely because that could not be afforded. And sauces were for flavouring, not bulk. I agree with all that,

1) “could not be afforded”. Yes, the Italian diet was one of poor peasants.

2) Apparently the Italian diet is one of moderation. In a country where the pasta (or the pizza) is the starter, the primi. The meat or fish is the main course, the secundi. This proven by the name for the third type of starter, the sliced meats etc which is called the “antipasti”. Instead of pasta.

This is the starter in a cuisine apparently noted for its caloric moderation.

Served with bread, of course.

The knowledge never starts, does it?

9 thoughts on “Lordy, he doesn’t even know about food”

  1. Dear oh dear he’s off the pace. Doesn’t he know that diet dogma now frowns on carbohydrates and approves of meat (though admittedly some of the provender puritans insist the meat be in killjoy small amounts)?

    I recall my mother recommending a mixed diet to me and, in particular, warning against pasta. “It turns those beautiful, slim, young Italian women into middle aged fatties.”

  2. Isn’t ‘antipasti’ before the pasta? It jolly well is in my favourite place* in Tito Terme, some distance south of Potenza, where sometimes I can’t even get past the antipasti!

    *Hotel Mephitis. It’s just one of them in Italy, there are many.

  3. My rule when in the US is to avoid Italian restaurants. Their food is a parody of Italian cooking.

  4. I love the way that pasta in the US is served wither with Alfredo sauce or Marinara. Where did those names come from?

  5. It’s ‘antipasto’ or ‘antipasti’ plural. It is the equivalent to hor d’œuvres in France which may be served before l’entrée which precedes Le plat. Traditionally vegetables are not served on the same plate as the meat (same in Italy) and are eaten after the meat.

    Antipasto is the first course. Pizza is street food and not a ‘starter’ in any part of Italy I visited over a 20 year period… most of it, but maybe it’s changed in recent years.

    The typical diet is high in carbohydrate, fat – both olive oil and animal fat – preserved meats, and cheese.

    The typical working day used to be up at first light, coffee and roll, and into the fields until midday when it got too hot, then for a substantial meal including wine. Then sleep a few hours until the day cooled, back to the field until dusk. Home for a supper of a hearty soup with bread, more wine and cheese.

    The diet was ‘healthy’ because the calories were burnt off with all day, hard labour in the fields.

    The pasta as a starter is the same as Yorkshire pudding which traditionally was eaten first with juices off the meat, to provide the stodge and be a filler since meat was expensive and only a small amount would be eaten.

  6. The portly Tre Professori does know italian cuisine.
    He once complimented the Ely Dominoes on the excellence of their shortened menu dontcha know. Who could need the extended set of choices anyway.

  7. The Pedant-General

    The septic loons also insist on using the word “entrée” to mean “main course”.

    Do they get anything right about food?

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