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Thread: Italian's long meal structures

  1. #1
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    Italian's long meal structures

    When I have been in the Italy for the first time, I was thrilled first of all the great architectures, local cuisines and beautiful beaches. But one thing that caught my attention was their structures of eating their meal.

    When we were there, we went to a local restaurant and ordered something for dinner. Thinking it will be the same dinner as everywhere, we were thinking only what meal we will get.

    When the waitress came we got the appetizer or what they call “aperitivo”, this is a portion of food that you can nibble while drinking something. Then came the “antipasto”, this is an appetizer but the portions are bigger than aperitivo, options for this are salami, cheese etcs.

    And then we have been asked to order the so called “Primo” or the first course, they say, this is as well like an appetizer, but heavier and you know what are the usual meals to choose for this so called appetizer in Italy? Pasta or risotto. Imagine this, this is not yet the main course, if I would eat already pasta or rice, how can I eat more?

    Anway, thanks God they had soup as well, so I took soup then. After that, they gave us the meal called “secondo”. This is the main course, this includes chicken, fish , pork or beef and other meats and this meal is being served with the side dish meal, which they call “contorno”. I have to tell you, I was struggling already to finish that course.

    They have as well “insalata” which we call salad, but in our case since we had veges as side dish, we did not order insalata anymore.
    When we were bloating already because we were seriously so full, they asked us, what do we want for dessert or in Italian “dolce”. I did not want to get anything anymore, because I couldn’t anymore.

    Then thinking all the courses have been served already, the waitress came again with espresso, they said that they usually serve espresso after the meals, this is the “Caffè”. Alright since I am a coffee addict, I had one cup.

    When we were about to pay already, they gave us another drink the so called “digestivo”, it is believed that this drink will help our digestion. I took one because I think I needed it!

    Overall, we finished the meal more or less five hours. What an experience. I did find out later, that Italians, usually have a long meal. Yeah, I know! LOL
    Last edited by travy; 10-24-2013 at 01:57 PM.
    Kim Erikson likes this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Italian's long meal structures

    Wow. I know Italy has very good food, but I didn't know they had courses such as these. I have heard that the French had this, but I didn't know that the Italians did. I totally couldn't have eaten all of that. I would have tried, but I wouldn't have got that far.

  3. #3
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    Re: Italian's long meal structures

    Woah!!! There is no way I'd be able to make it to the ''secondo'' You people must have a really good appetite, because not everyone can get this far with a course like this one! I can barely finish my lunch everyday!!! There is no way I could get to the secondo part :P

  4. #4
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    It was a good idea that we went there with an empty stomach :-) If not we won’t make it I think. So, if you will go to the local restaurant where they do such traditional meal, I would suggest to go there when you are really hungry. The experience was though great!

  5. #5
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    This thread recall me a trip to Spain, but visiting a friend's family.

    They used to serve breakfast that included orange juice, milk, coffee, sweet bread plus a main course savory casserole dish, then moving forward to lunch at noon made of a variety of dishes. Between lunch and dinner there were snacks, and not precisely the healthy kind.

    Dinner was served sometime between 2 and 5 pm and it's needless to say there was a heavy load of dishes in the menu. Around 6 and 8 pm they had another eating break called "merienda" consisting of hot chocolate, coffee, or a fruits shake plus sweet bread or cookies, and finally supper around 9 to 10 pm, again with a heavy load of dishes, tasty indeed, but hard to struggle with all that food throughout a single day :O

  6. #6
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    Yes, I know! eating is very, very important to the Italians. Mostly they eat their large meal at lunchtime and then take the rest of the afternoon off for a siesta. Then they go back to work at around 4pm and work until about 8pm the go home and have dinner again, a bit lighter this time, and then they head out into town with the whole family, around 11pm, little kids included, to have a gelato and a vodka and cafe and catch up with the other locals.

  7. #7
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    Re: Italian's long meal structures

    I like Italian foods by taste .I always search different hotels and restaurants there to find more and more rich taste in Italy.Absolutely tremendous taste i get every time here.

  8. #8
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    Re: Italian's long meal structures

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