How to: Eat in Italy
It's different. For real. Well, you know what I mean. Obviously you still eat with your damn mouth, but the times are all backwards and what they eat, when they eat it, is quite different. Italians, most of them at least (not tryna generalize), place a heavy emphasis on the food in their life. A lot of the time, I noticed, that they aren't eating to live, but rather, living to eat. Which is frickin' amazing.
I'm not pulling this out of a hat. I mean, I'm not going to sit here and claim that I know all Italian culture because I was there for a few weeks, but I know a decent amount. Italian eating habits are, in one word, wholesome. It's crazy that everyone there isn't 900 pounds, for real. Everyone is always eating so much, like so much. People tell me its because everyone is constantly walking everywhere, but then whats the excuse for big cities in the US where people walk everywhere and that's not the case.
Your typical day in Rome (where I was) would start off anywhere between 7am and 10am with an espresso (or espresso drink; cappuccinos are super popular there) and possibly accompanied by a light pastry. Eggs and bacon isn't a thing. I quite literally searched for about two hours all over Rome to find a place that served an American style breakfast and found one that served it for one hour out of the day. It was good, obviously, but still, it's not something that is eaten for breakfast in that area.
Next is lunch. The second most important meal of the day, dinner obviously being most important. Lunch in Italy isn't a time that they take to shove food down their gullets and get back to work. The whole town shuts down for 1-2 hours, everyone goes home and has lunch with their family. I really mean everyone. Like, I would walk around between 1-3pm and everything was closed, the city looked like a ghost town. It was so eery but so surreal at the same time. Since it proved difficult to find places to eat out for lunch, we would usually go to the local mart and pick up some prosciutto, fresh vegetables and cheese in the morning and eat that for lunch.
Dinner, the best part of my day, every day I was in Italy. The only thing that threw me off a little was how late all the Italians ate over there. Most restaurants don't even open until 8pm so we would be walking around for an hour or two before somewhere would even seat us. Let me tell you something right now, don't ever sit down for a dinner and expect it to be an in and out type situation. No joke, there wasn't one night where I wasn't sitting for 2 plus hours every dinner. It was tiring, but so relaxing and such a nice change from what I am used to back in the states. I am not going to go into detail about what I ate, and when I ate it because then it would turn into a three page blog post and that's not what this site or I am about.