Italians Reveal the Worst Food Crimes You Can Commit Against Their Cuisine

Keep the ketchup bottle far away from your pasta bowl, capisce?

Pouring any amount of ketchup on spaghetti is too much, according to Italians
Pouring any amount of ketchup on spaghetti is too much, according to Italians.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Research conducted into how Italians feel about the way the rest of the world cooks and consumes their food has found that the easiest way to make an Italian see red is to mix Barilla and Heinz in a pasta bowl.

Conducted by international Internet-based market research and data analytics firm, the survey identified 11 “food crimes” that the rest of the world is committing against Italian cuisine. “A 2018 YouGov survey found that Italian cuisine is the world’s most popular,” per the research firm. “While that may prove a point of pride for Italy, a new international YouGov survey shows that elsewhere in the world many people are treating the cuisine in ways that will make Italians weep.”

The new survey, which also asked residents in 16 other countries and territories what they thought was acceptable or unacceptable with regard to cooking and eating Italian food, found that the most egregious culinary crime against Italian food is putting ketchup on pasta. Interestingly (and perhaps for historical reasons), most of the rest of the world was fairly open to ketchup over pasta, with some locations — including Hong Kong, Indonesia and China — all giving a positive approval rating to the dish.

Joining ketchup on pasta among the crimes were putting pasta in cold water and then boiling it, not adding salt to make the water for pasta boil faster, putting cheese on a pasta meal that contains seafood, mixing cream in carbonara sauce and cutting long pasta with a knife. Also on the lists of no-nos: rinsing or cooling off cooked pasta under cold water, drinking cappuccino after an Italian meal and having garlic bread with a pasta meal.

Rounding out the list were pineapple on pizza and having pasta as a side dish. Interestingly, France was the only other country besides Italy that had a problem with Hawaiian pizza, but was also the country that was the most enthusiastic about having pasta on the side of a larger meal. (Italy was actually the only country in the world with a problem with pasta as an accompaniment.)

So if you plan on heading it Italy or your local pasta joint anytime soon, leave the Hunt’s at home. But if you want to have pizza for lunch, have Bolognese sauce with spaghetti, eat your pizza with a fork instead of your hands or have meatballs with spaghetti, that’s no problem, as all of those behaviors were rated favorably by Italians.


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