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Little is known about authentic Italian food until you actually get to Italy and you are reading an Italian menu. Where are the spaghetti with meatballs? Fettucine Alfredo? You will find none of that in Italy: those are in fact Italian American dishes. Northern, Central and Southern Italian cuisines are actually very different from each other - in the North, you'll find dishes that include different types of meat such as veal, rabbit, game (deer), horse steak (called "cavallo" or "puledro"), along with the ordinary chicken, turkey, beef, and duck. Salads are usually served as a side dish (not as an appetizer) and fruit can be served as dessert, along desserts at the end of the meal; there is no such thing as frosting in Italy, but a more delicate whipped cream. In Southern Italy, food is richer in spices and changes flavor a little bit: you will find pasta everywhere - however, in Northern Italy risotto is more widespread than pasta, whose shapes may be called in a different way depending in which part of the country you're in. However, spaghetti seems to be the universal word while ziti is not! Don't leave Italy without trying their delicious ice cream: it looks like a soft serve ice cream, only creamier and in different flavors! Pizza is an absolute must! If you have dinner at a
your pizza will be served to your table on individual dishes, that's why you need to pick your own pizza and then (maybe) share it, if you are in company. They won't slice it for you so you'd better ask for a good knife or fold it over as if you were eating a calzone. If you order coffee (caffè) at a restaurant or at a bar, their "regular" coffee is an espresso, so make sure you order a
if it is indeed the regular American coffee you mean to ask for. There is no cream in bars and restaurants in Italy, so your only alternative to a black coffee is milk (latte, not to be confused with the homonymous beverage they serve at Starbuck's). Beware when they will ask you if you like it steamed or cold!