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Book: Italian Food Rules


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My friend Ann Reavis (who I met years ago through SlowTrav) has published a book - Italian Food Rules (available on Amazon in paperback or for the Kindle). Steve read it and loved it and I am half way through and am loving it.

The book is a "must read" for any Italy traveler. Ann explains the food rules (e.g. never order cappuccino after 11am), why they exist and how they can be confusing to North Americans. She worked through many ideas for the book on her blog - Tuscan Traveler. I thought I knew all the food rules, but I am learning new things reading the book!

Ann wrote a nice article about Florence for Slow Europe - A Week in Florence.



100+ Posts
Looks great! The perfect must read before my Roma adventure coming-up in May. It would be nice to be better informed about Italy's foodie customs. I do manage a cappuccino in the afternoon ~ just avoid the look of surprise on the waiter's face ~ but never after dinner!

Thanks Pauline!


10+ Posts
I received my copy this week and am halfway through. Great book, Ann!

We are longing to travel but may not get back to Italy until 2016.


500+ Posts
I'm not sure if it's an Italian food rule, but here in America one thing that annoys me in restaurants is the way that they insist on bringing your coffee before dessert. I don't think any restaurant in Italy would ever do that.

I'm just thinking about it because tonight we ate at a restaurant in Napa that makes a big deal about being "authentically Italian". They say, for example, that they will not serve red pepper or grated Parmesan with their pizza because it is not the Italian way. But when we ordered dessert and espresso after our meal (which was very good), they brought the coffee about 10 minutes before we got the dessert. I suppose I should have asked them to bring the coffee last, but it didn't occur to me that this "real Italian" restaurant would do it the American way. Next time I'll know better.


500+ Posts
It is interesting, isn't it, Cheryl, how many of those "Italian food rules" really do make sense from the standpoint of being better for digestion. After all, they have mostly evolved over hundreds of years of obsession with food and cooking. (And I mean that in the best way.)


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Many of the natural food movements focus on "local and in season" which the Italians have been doing for years.

I wish being a vegetarian was more commonplace in Italy. I always get an odd look in Italy when asking if something is without meat or fish.

But, I don't agree with the salad after rule. You digest these foods quicker - shouldn't they go first?

italian excursion

100+ Posts
Pauline, I think that most people are meat eaters, unlike yourself and need the "help" the after meal salad rule provides the intestinal process. Who knows, I find contradictory information about all kinds of "scientific" fact, all the time. For instance; coffee is good, coffee is not good; wine is good, wine is not good, etc., etc. Just a point of view and then we all take the one that suits us best!


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