Is Italian food boring

Secrets of Italian Gastronomy
Why you should never order meat in the pizzeria

  • Seasoned

    Wolfgang Fassbender

Mediterranean cuisine is also popular in Switzerland. Thousands of restaurants serve antipasto, pasta, and tiramisu. But even with Emilio, Giuseppe and Luigi there are culinary dangers lurking that the guest should recognize and circumnavigate in good time.

Who has not already experienced the hospitality that laps you in the Italian gastronomy of Switzerland, Germany or Austria. Warm, cheerful waiters who exude Mediterranean joie de vivre, the finest pasta, crispy pizza and a lot of vino. Who could resist?

Unfortunately, not every restaurateur who advertises southern cuisine is also an expert. “Let's just earn some money,” some think, and open the hundredth “Pizzeria Roma” or “Ristorante Don Camillo”, which is supposed to give guests in the country an illusion of the Italian way of life. A little pizza, some pasta and a couple of steaks with Argentine beef: low cost of goods, third-class wines, garnished with “Ciao dottore”.

How do you recognize good Italian gastronomy?

Those who offer everything usually do everything badly. Hungry people should pay particular attention to this principle if they are looking for real Mediterranean gastronomy. The bigger the menu, the worse the food is likely to be. Salads and meat, dozens of types of pasta and seven types of fish? Forget it. Get out of the way and go to a fast food shop. Especially the combination of pizza and other dishes often goes wrong. In order to produce very good pizza, great care is required in the dough management, preparation and baking process.

So, with a few exceptions, pizza is eaten in a good pizzeria. Ask about the details, the flour, the temperature of the oven, the training of the pizzaiolo. Do not trust supposedly revolutionary concepts, and do not believe that a "Vera Pizza Napolitana" would automatically be brilliant (but often it is). But above all: stick with the consumption of filled dough cakes and don't order pasta, meat or fish from the pizza baker.

Better no fish and certainly no steak

In the trattoria (no pizza!), On the other hand, you should pay attention to starters and pasta - especially if the latter is made on site. Even second-class restaurateurs often have the ambition to produce one or two types of pasta themselves - perhaps the spaghetti alla chitarra or the ravioli filled with ricotta. Often the mom is involved, the ingredients are not expensive. So why not take two servings and consistently disregard the rule that pasta is only an intermediate course after antipasti and before the real main course? However, nobody should believe that someone can make good risotto just because they are strong at tagliatelle and tortelloni!

Of course, the cuisine between Trentino and Sicily is rich in first-class stews, grandiose pan-fried meats such as the bistecca fiorentina, and creations with fish and seafood, herbs and olive oil. But the effort is great, the demands on the ingredients are huge. So big that many restaurateurs in this country forego really good things and prefer to complement any meat with standard vegetables that have been kept warm forever. By the way, slicing truffles over them doesn't make such bores any better, but certainly more expensive.

Cheese and dessert: watch out for boredom!

Of course, the more a trattoria dedicates itself to a special regional cuisine, the better. Anyone who specifically offers classics from Liguria, Piedmont or Apulia will ultimately lean far out of the window. Such restaurateurs often really care about representing their homeland. They know the producers and also know about wine.

And it is clear to them that Italy has many more types of cheese in store than just Grana Padano from Cash & Carry or the most boring industrial Gorgonzola. In case of doubt, however, cheese should be avoided and care should also be taken with dessert. Tiramisu and panna cotta are often good when cooked on site. However, if they are accompanied by various other desserts and ice cream sundaes on the standard menu, they should not be consumed. And as for the grappa on the house: You don't seriously believe that the host will give you a really high-quality pomace schnapps at the end of your meal, do you?