Sunday, 29 July 2012

What do Italians eat for Breakfast?

A series of useful snippets of information for people travelling to italy for holidays or planning on living in Italy for a longer period. I hope to add many articles relating to travel, food and culture in the future.


The first thing I learned in Italy is that Cappuccino is a morning drink and should not be ordered after midday unless you don't mind the judging stares! For many Italians, cappuccino IS breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, the most common item for breakfast are biscuits dipped into warm milk or a cappuccino. Having Eggs or meat for breakfast is a big no-no as they are considered to be far too heavy in the morning. When out and about, Italians usually grab a brioche for breakfast. 

Typical Italian Breakfast: Biscuits dipped in milk

A morning espresso is key and you will find yourself addicted if you stay for a prolonged period. I couldn't cope with espresso when I first arrived in Italy, now I'm unable to function if I forget my morning espresso. For students on an all-nighter, there's the option of the double brewed espresso (filling the cafetiere with freshly brewed espresso and brewing it again with a second dose of ground coffee). I also once heard of a student sitting down to a breakfast consisting of a bowl of coffee with a espresso on the side!

Pocket Espresso for those who missed their morning coffee

In terms of snacks (le merende), Ferrero rules! There’s Ferrero Kinder for children and espresso chocolates called ‘Pocket Coffee’ for adults if you missed your morning espresso. There isn't perhaps the same choice in confectionery as there is in the UK (I've yet to find chocolate-flavoured chocolate or honeycomb for instance) but it still hits the spot. Needless to say, nutella is spread over everything. It’s even in pasties!! These are called panzerotti in Italian are freshly baked in a pizzeria. My advice? Don't let your eyes get the better of you and share a panzerotti with a friend, maybe even two! 

And as a final random fact, eating horse meat does not have the same stigma in Italy as it does in the UK and it’s not uncommon to see thin steaks in more upmarket supermarkets. So if you fancy a try and want to avoid eating it by mistake, watch out for the word cavallo (horse). 
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