MAMMA MIA! It's all about MANGIARE

MAMMA MIA! It's all about MANGIARE

A very important topic, if not THE topic in Italy: MANGIARE. EAT! Mangiare plays an elementary role in Italy. Even when eating, people talk - very often, in fact always - about food.

In other countries, people ask "how it goes". In Italy they ask, "HAI MANGIATO?" Have you eaten? The question of all questions. "Hai mangiato" means something like, "Paid off your bank loan, survived rush hour traffic and settled your spat with the neighbours?" So, are you all right aka "did you, rather, were you able to eat"?

And yet, in Italy, the day begins notoriously sparsely in terms of food. An espresso, coffee or cappuccino, plus a few dry biscotti, or biscuits. A mini-cornetto might be the ultimate treat. The colazione, the Italian breakfast, appears very modest. If you expect a hearty lumberjack breakfast à la omelette pan with bacon - not a chance.

Aside note: If you don't want to stand out as a tourist in Italy, you shouldn't order a cappuccino after 11am. And there's no such thing as a cappuccino with cream.

Nevertheless, il pranzo, lunch, does not start before 1 pm. In any case, you should have started by shortly after 2 pm. The less touristy a region, the more sacred the midday siesta. To keep to it, you have to eat halfway on time.

If you're health-conscious and don't want to eat too late, you can usually get a seat - provided the restaurant is already open. (And you don't mind being virtually alone with the waitress). The further south you go, the later you eat.

La cena, or dinner, is served from 9pm. In fact, some restaurants in the south don't open until 8pm in summer anyway.: Bruschetta made in Rome

P.S. When you visit Italians at home, the question usually comes up too. Hai mangiato? To shorten the conversation that follows, just say "SÌ". Of course you'd like to try a little something. And of course it will taste fantastic.

Alternatively, you can talk for the next 30 minutes about whether and what you have eaten, whether it was enough and whether you are really not even a teeny bit hungry. Mangiare is a very, very important topic...


published by our ONLINE MAG:, written by Annie Kayser (English, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, French)

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