dipped with light hot peppers for me
I'm going over to Italy soon, and have decided that I will be utterly intolerant to the grandiosity of chefs over there who claim they know better how I should eat meat than I do. I was in one place with friends (who were paying for the meals) where the staff refused to take my order for a well done T-bone steak. I've told my wife that from now on I'm driving to those places, and if they try to sell me beef cooked so that blood still runs out of it, we're leaving.
One of my friends here in Australia recounted how a chef in our part of Italy came out and proceeded to explain to him how he was ignorant of how meat should be cooked.
Similarly, I've told my wife that if ever I order fish over there, she is to whack me over the head - same thing, under cooked. I asked my cousins over there what the deal was, had Italy gone Japanese?
Fortunately, I will be doing a lot of driving around and hopefully will find regions where they cook beef and fish longer than in my region (Veneto).
There are actually a lot more funny opinions up where I stay in Italy.
1.........Sweet corn - "why are you eating that? - that's what we feed the chooks".
2.........Ice in drinks/Cold drinks - to be avoided even if the temperature is over 100 degrees F, as it can give you colic and you might die. They believe that all drinks, be it beer, wine, Coca Cola should be drunk at room temperature (I ask them - "Have you been to Rome?", "Yes", "Have you noticed that the street vendors sell the coldest drinks in Europe there?", "Yes", "Have you noticed that of all the tens of thousands of tourists there drinking those drinks, not one was rolling around on the ground in agony from drinking those drinks?", "Yes, no one was in agony" "So why do you persist with this rubbish about cold drinks being bad for you?" (No answer, but they persist with drinking luke warm drinks on a hot day).
3........Chinese food - most won't touch it, and look aghast at my wife and I when we say we love it.
4........Ice cream - not to be eaten in winter.
5........Capuccinos - not to be drunk after 12pm, else you are some weird tourist.
That could indeed be the case - the barrista on vacation over here who first alerted me to this, said cappucinos are in the "morning", all other ones being for tourists. Similarly, I later read the same in one of my wife's Italian language text books. I guess it depends where the perception of "morning" ends.
The other funny opinion in our area that my brother related to me from his trip there last year, was about a McDonalds hamburger store which had just opened up there. Whenever he mentioned "McDonalds" or going to "McDonalds" for a hamburger - everyone instantly and vehemently corrected him - "It's not a McDonalds store, it's a McDrive store" - because the words "McDrive" are written in big letters over the Drive through section. It mattered not that he explained to them what a Drive means in English.
Yes, it is funny - and it seems to be something more common than just in my local area. I recollect going out to lunch with some of my cousins and their husbands, one of whom comes from Naples. He sent the bottled water set in front of him back because it was too cold, and he asked for room temperature water. And he also totally rejected any notion of eating Chinese food.
Not to sound totally negative though, I must say that Italian restaurants fry pork steaks up in a way that no one seems to be able to replicate down here in Australia. I usually don't bother buying anything on the menu with pork down here, but over there it is a real treat.