People around the world have strong connections to their cultural or ethnic group through similar food patterns. And as cultural backgrounds differ, different foods differ too. For example, the ingredients, ways of preparation, preservation techniques, and the varied types of food eaten at different meals change from culture to culture. Besides, food culture sometimes is associated to its nation or country. For example, when we mention pizza or pasta, we frequently associate them with Italy, and we similarly associate United States with the hamburger. Yet, both countries have many other types of food and that’s why it’s essential to consider the variety of food across the world. This paper will examine the differences and similarities between food cultures in Italy and United States in terms of f eating timeline, food selections, and carbs consumptions.
If someone is travelling from the United States to Italy, they must adjust their eating timing. According to Spoon University (Hurley, 2019), Italians eat much later than American do, in which they have their lunch around one or two in the afternoon, and dinner typically around eight or nine in the evening. On the other hand, Americans tend to schedule their lunch, for example, earlier than Italians do, which typically happens around eleven in the morning. Moreover, people in America tend to buy food from large grocery stores, pick whatever they want based on their preference, and find everything, whether it is in-season or not, all in a single store. By contrast, it is a mission impossible to do food shopping for everything in a chain store. This is because Italians do food shopping in daily markets that sell food, which is fresh and in-season and supplied directly from the producer. Thus, they select their food items based on what is in-season, not according to what is in mood as Americans do. In addition, people in Italy don’t underestimate the value of food, which is clearly noticeable when seeing them in restaurants. They treat their food meals as sacred moments (Hackman, 2015), and how long someone spends on a meal, the waiter would never get bothered. Just the opposite, people in America might simply grab their 2 meals and go to sit on the road or sit in front of the television. Besides, in America, when waiters find someone spends longer time, they consider such behavior as rude. So, probably it is not a good idea to sit, relax, and enjoy more than one hour (Booth, 2018). Therefore, it is clearly seen that food culture has several differences in the United States and Italy.
Despite of the differences in food culture between both countries, yet they have several similarities. Both, Americans and Italians show a wide range of food options and preferences that are based on the region. For instance, Italy just like America has regional food based on the area sector, where people bring with them their customs and adapt them in food. Indeed, this is so obvious through the large options of food and course meals that both nation present; they can taste the different flavors and appreciate every meal. Furthermore, people in America and Italy tend to have high carbohydrate consumptions (Harrick, 2020). For example, Italy is known for its pasta meals and pizza. Similarly, America is known for salads, pancakes, eggs which are a common choice in Italy as well, which are essential whether as an appetizer or main-course. Last but not least, people in America and Italy enjoy having a light breakfast full of nutrients (Le, 2017). Food culture differs in Italy comparing to America, but at the same time they have common point.
Food culture in America and Italy show several differences such as when they have their main meals, how long they spend while eating, and where they purchase their food items from. However, they have some similarities such as the amount of carbs consumed, variety of dishes, and their preference of having light breakfast meals. Indeed, every individual has his own preference of food and how he or she wants it to be cooked and dressed. We all have the option to choose what we like while respecting all food cultures among the world.
- Booth, J. (2018, May 3). 12 of the Biggest Differences Between Italian and American Diets. Retrieved from INSIDER: https://www.insider.com/biggest-differences-italian-americandiets-food-2018-5#italians-take-food-seriously-and-typically-have-longer-meals-13
- Hackman, R. (2015, Septmeber 18). What Do Real Italians Think About New York's Italian Food? Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/sep/18/what-do-real-italians-think-aboutnew-yorks-italian-food
- Harrick, M. (2020, February 13). Italy Vs. America: Embracing the Differences. Retrieved from ITA BLOG: https://www.internationalteflacademy.com/blog/italy-vs-america-embracingthe-differences
- Hurley, C. (2019). Why You Should Be Eating Dinner Like an Italian. Retrieved from Spoon University: https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/why-you-should-be-eating-dinner-likean-italian
- Le, C. B. (2017, January 7). What Food Tells Us About Culture. Retrieved from Freely Magazine: https://freelymagazine.com/2017/01/07/what-food-tells-us-about-culture/