When Americans think of Italian food, they tend to think of pepperoni pizza, garlic bread, and chicken Parmesan. But all of those dishes are actually Italian-American hybrid foods created by Italian immigrants who were cooking with U.S. ingredients.
In other words, what we think of as “classic Italian” is not actually from Italy at all.
We rounded up some ways to go more authentic, whether it’s in your own kitchen or on your next trip to Italy.
Instead of “Italian dressing,” top your salads with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Italian dressing – the vinaigrette-style salad dressing with vinegar, vegetable oil, chopped bell peppers and corn syrup – would never be consumed by most Italians.
Instead, people in Italy eat their salads with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and maybe pepper. That’s it. Diners mix the ingredients at the table themselves, even at most restaurants where customers are provided with an oil and vinegar set and expected to dress their own salad.