Food you’ll never eat in Italy #1 Fettuccini Alfredo

Disclaimer:

  • for American readers: if you are planning a travel to Italy, or if you are just sitting in a typical restaurant in front of the Colosseum, read these posts before having an order.
  • for Italian readers living in the United States: if you have experienced what they call Italian food and you wish to participate in, send me an email.
  • for all: I am learning English, so you will forgive me for my errors as well as for my British-old-weird-style. Suggestions and corrections are welcome. Thank you!

When I arrived to the United States I learned that American hamburgers are not the same we eat at Italian Mc Donald’s, and so living in Miami everyday teaches me that Mexican food- or Colombian, or Peruvian –  is much more than tacos and tequila as we know in Italy. So why eating Italian in the United States should be different?

In America many restaurant owners are Italian immigrants’ descendants. Maybe they have never traveled to Italy. Maybe they are convinced that Italians should love their food too.

The answer is no. We don’t like it, but we comprehend why you do. On the other hand, if you are traveling to Italy it’s better for you to know that you’ll never find the same dishes you everyday eat. That’s why I’m writing to you. For you. And for those living-in-America-Italians who makes them sick to see a mess like that.

#1. Fettuccine Alfredo.
 

Let’s first start with the fundamentals. The correct speech for fettuccine is pronounce the final “E” as you spell the “A” letter in English. This will sound more similar to our Italian word. The same, obviously, is for grazie or lasagne.

Every Italian discovers what Alfredo sauce is when arrives to the United States. We have not this specialty in our country (Italians, there’s a whole site about Alfredo sauce!). I have learned (see comments!) that an Italian restaurateur gave his name to this pasta in 1914, but believe me: no one in Rome knows this anecdote.

Alfredo sauce is made of Parmesan and butter. In Italy, when we have the refrigerator empty and we don’t know what to eat, we boil 80 grams of spaghetti and we made an emulsion of butter and Parmesan, sometimes with pepper or/and nutmeg. We call it Plain spaghetti*: it’s the basic step for every adolescent whose parents are out.

If you want to eat a better dish, ask for Quattro formaggi (Four cheese): the creamy and pungent flavor (from gorgonzola, not blue cheese) will full your mouth.

To conclude, always remember that in Italy Spaghetti or Fettuccine is a main dish, not a side.

*ok, ok. I admit that Americans made it better: their Alfredo sauce is really tasty, and broccoli are perfect with it!

Sun, May 5th 2014
I have to edit this post. I had found a person, actually a friend, who eat Fettuccini Alfredo when living in Rome. I have to admit it exists, even though no one knows about it.

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0 pensieri su “Food you’ll never eat in Italy #1 Fettuccini Alfredo

  1. ooooh GRAZIE per avermi illuminato su ste diamine di fettuccini alfredo. Ora so che le sa cucinare qualsiasi quindicenne italiano :DQuanto mi suona male anche Spaghetti Bolognese. Ma perchè non chiamarlo ragù?!? Suona così carino, rag-oou!

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  2. HISTORY OF FETTUCCINE ALL'ALFREDO AND OF ALFREDO DI LELIO CREATOR OF “FETTUCCINE ALL’ALFREDO”With reference to “fettuccine all'Alfredo” we have the pleasure to tell you the history of our grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, creator of this recipe in the world known.Alfredo di Lelio opened the restaurant “Alfredo” in Rome nel 1914, after leaving his first restaurant run by his mother Angelina in Rose Square (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi). In this local spread the fame, first to Rome and then in the world, of “fettuccine all'Alfredo”. In 1943, during the war, Di Lelio gave the local to his collaborators.In 1950 Alfredo Di Lelio decided to reopen with his son Armando (Alfredo II) his restaurant in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 “Il Vero Alfredo”, which is now managed by his nephews Alfredo (same name of grandfather) and Ines (the same name of his grandmother, wife of Alfredo Di Lelio, who were dedicated to the noodles).In conclusion, the local Piazza Augusto Imperatore is following the family tradition of Alfredo Di Lelio and his notes noodles (see also the site of “Il Vero Alfredo” http://www.alfredo-roma.it/)Best regards Alfredo e Ines Di Lelio

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  3. Thank you (ma commento in italiano o in inglese??) for your comment, today I have known something new. But trust me: I lived in Rome for almost 40 years and I never ate Fettuccine Alfredo in a restaurant – and I have never eaten at YOUR restaurant. Now I ask you: why Fettuccine Alfredo is best known abroad than in Rome? Why nobody produces Alfredo Sauce in Italy?As Latins said, Nemo propheta in patria.

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  4. ben detto Lucy ! io comunque amo gli spaghetti aglio e olio e peperoncino che ritengo la massima espressione di Italian food 🙂 un caro saluto da Pinko Pallina ^______^alias little-princeOpsss…dovevo scrivere in English… forse ?

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  5. Mio padre era maitre d'hotel sulle navi da crociera della Società Italia e come tale eseguiva alcuni piatti in sala, in presenza dei clienti. Uno dei più amati era proprio quello delle fettuccine all'Alfredo. Venivano preparate saltandole in padalla con poco burro, panna liquida, prosciutto cotto, noce moscata e parmigiano. Ancora oggi noi in casa prepariamo questo piatto che è buonissimo.

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  6. e se posso perchè chiamare noodles gli spaghetti??? Interessantissima, Lucy, questa lunga storia… Dalle mie parti, vicino a Mi, ogni adolescente si fa gli spaghetti con olio e pepe quando è solo in casa 😉 quelli più “avanti” con pomodorini freschi e basilico, ma mai lo farebbe con questa crema così ricca e impegnativa e tantomeno pieni di aglio. La ricchezza regionale di cui parlavo “da me”.Ciao!

    Mi piace

  7. Dearest Anonimous, I was born and raised in Rome and this is the very first time I hear about this alleged invention which I'm used to call it 'burro e parmigiano' and I don't really know anyone who's willing to pay any amount of money for the very basic recipe that every teenager whose parents are out are able to replicate.

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  8. Questo post sulle fettucine Alfredo è una totale scoperta! Come tutti coloro che hanno commentato prima di me, nemmeno io avevo mai sentito la storia di Alfredo. E dire che a qualsiasi americano mi abbia chiesto la ricetta delle fettucine alfredo ho sempre risposto, quasi ridendo, che non si tratta di una ricetta italiana ma di una rivisitazione (ignorante, ndr) degli spaghetti alla bolognese, perché qui a houston le propongono per lo più con sugo e polpette :-)Bellissimi post, e bellissimo blog by the way!

    Mi piace

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