Dear non-Italian friends,
I am writing in support of your dietary liberation. As an Italian, I often discriminated your way of eating Italian food, criticising how you cook pasta, the time in the day you drink cappuccino or the cream you put in your tiramisu. Now it’s time to stop. And not just for me, I also urge all my fellow Italian to stop harassing you.
It is about time we Italians recognise Italian food is not only Italian anymore. And it has long been like this. When we emigrated and exported Italian food culture, opening Italian restaurants and bar everywhere in the world, we had to do compromise with the local culture and the local supply of ingredients. So “spaghetti with meatballs”, “spaghetti bolonnaise” and all the sort of possible stuff we Italians see as an aberration are actually part of Italian food culture in the world.
In other words, you have the right to eat Italian food the way you like it, without being obliged to listen to any Italian whining that your pasta is overcooked or that no one in Italy would eat pasta and chicken in the same dish: do as you like! Really!
As long as I do not have to eat it, you can eat Italian food as you wish.
After all, as an Italian, I never heard a Chinese person ironizing about the way we eat Chinese food in Italy: we normally walk in Chinese restaurants and get starters, first course based on noodles or rice and second course based on meat, chicken or fish: something that just makes no sense in real Chinese cuisine.
And no Chinese person ever told me we eat crappy spring rolls or fried rice, even though we do. No German friend ever mocked our würstel either (this is how we call Vienna Sausages in Italy by the way, of course it makes no sense, thanks for not telling us). And we are actually convinced Ikea food is the only existing Swedish food.
But why do we Italians eat this stuff, then? Well, for the very same reason you non-Italians eat not-proper-Italian food all around the world: we just like it the way it is!
We are used to it! Just like you people are used to overcooked spaghetti and overgarliced Bruschettas (we Italians do not eat as much garlic as people often assume, but if you like it, go for it!).
So, it’s really about time Italians stop pestering other people about how wrong their Lasagnas are and how they drink their macchiato. Don’t allow us harassing you about food, anymore, guys! Really!
P.S.: maybe, if we could just rediscuss that Lasagna thing…