Italian food – debunking 5 of the most common myths

Italian food is enjoyed as much as Indian and Chinese cuisine and is available in restaurants and cafes throughout the UK and Ireland. Despite its popularity, some people still hold mistaken notions about Italian cuisine, so it is time to set the record straight and debunk these common myths.

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Italian Food is unhealthy

Many people believe that Italian food is rich and full of cream but, in fact, cream and butter are rarely used. Food is commonly cooked using olive oil, which is known to be a vital part of the Mediterranean diet. The white sauce found in some Italian dishes is made from milk and sometimes cheese, rather than cream.

Italian food consists simply of pizza and pasta

Although pizzas and pastas are popular throughout the world, there is more to Italian cuisine than just this. There are many different regional dishes such as amatriciana, a dish of pork cheek and tomato sauce, from the town of Amatrice recently devastated by the Italian earthquake. According to The Guardian, Italian restaurants have been requested to donate 2 euros towards the fund, for every serving of Amatriciana sold. In Dublin Italian restaurant owners will be helping with the fundraising effort.

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Italian food can be bland

Anyone who actually believes this should experience Tuscan cuisine, which is characterised by the use of organic ingredients and fresh homegrown herbs, and is available in some Italian restaurants. In Italian food, the flavours of natural ingredients are enhanced, rather than masked, by the careful use of herbs and spices. A good example of this is the flavour of tomatoes that can be overwhelmed in some cuisines, such as Indian or North African.

Pasta is often undercooked

If people are unfamiliar with Italian cuisine they may feel that the al dente consistency of pasta served in a Dublin Italian Restaurant Toscana means that it is undercooked. This is far from the case, because one of the important aspects of Italian cooking is that pasta should have a slightly crunchy texture and be firm to the bite. This makes it healthier and easier to digest.

Pasta should be washed before cooking

Washing pasta before cooking is not only unnecessary, it actually washes away starch and healthy nutrients. Pasta should not be washed before cooking, and quality brands will never need this.