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8 Italian Food Fun Facts You Should Know

Italy is a nation of regions and provinces where each village, town and city have developed a way of cooking that is unique to the area. Sauces, pastas, sausages, wines, cheeses and breads differ from region to region and from town to town.

February 13th is National “Eat Italian Food” Day

  • The average Italian meal is divided in two parts: primo piatto (first course) and secondo piatto (second course).
  • It was not until the 1700s that tomato sauce was included with pasta in Italian kitchens.
  • Italian wedding soup is not a traditional soup served at weddings.
  • The term Neapolitan Ice Cream originated in the United States in the late 19th century and is presumably a reference to the three layered ice cream: vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, which originated in Naples.
  • There are more than 600 pasta shapes produced worldwide.
  • In the 13th century, the Pope set quality standards for pasta.
  • The average person in Italy eats more than 51 pounds of pasta every year. The average person in North America eats about 151/2 pounds per year.
  • Each region in Italy has a favorite recipe for pasta. In Rome, two classics are the carbonara (with eggs and pancetta) and the cacio e pepe (with cheese and pepper).