5 “Italian” dishes that you won’t find in Italy!

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Italy is known and loved for its flavourful and regionally diverse cuisine, especially for its pizza and pasta dishes. Italian cuisine is undoubtedly one of the world’s favourite cuisines. In fact, A YouGov survey revealed that 86% of all those surveyed ranked Italian food as their all-time favourite!* It is so popular that other countries have created their own “Italian” dishes. The team at Scrambled Eggs English School in Milano has put together a list of the top 5 “Italian” dishes that you won’t find in Italy! Prepared to be amazed!


First up, we have the “panini.” A panini is a grilled or toasted sandwich filled with deli ingredients, from bacon, brie and cranberry to chicken pesto and anything in between! This is a very popular lunch choice in the UK and served in most cafés. However, in Italian the word panini means sandwiches. So, if you ordered panini in Italy, you would simply get some normal sandwiches.

Spaghetti Carbonara with cream

Next up, we have Spaghetti “Carbonara” made with cream. This is personally one of my favourite “Italian” dishes. A true Carbonara however, a dish which originates from Rome, can only be made from eggs! The traditional ingredients also include guanciale, pecorino Romano and black pepper.

Garlic bread

Garlic bread is another super popular “Italian” dish that you can find in a lot of Italian restaurants outside of Italy. Sometimes it is served with caramelized onions on top and often the bread used to make it is baguette, which originates from France! In Italy, you will only find garlic on bread when it is used to make bruschetta.

Pepperoni Pizza

Next on the list is pepperoni pizza. “Pepperoni” is one of the most popular pizza toppings in both the USA and the UK. There’s just one problem: we know and love pepperoni as spicy salami slices, but in Italian pepperoni means peppers! So, if you order a pepperoni pizza in Italy, you’ll get a pizza full of peppers. Instead, ask for salame piccante.

Ham and Pineapple Pizza

Last but not least, ham and pineapple pizza, also known as Hawaiian pizza, is 100% not Italian. Ham and pineapple pizza in fact originates from Canada! The story goes that Sam Panopoulos, a young restaurant owner originally from Greece, decided to put it on his pizza to attract customers to his restaurant.

What do you think of these “Italian” dishes? Which ones would you like to try, or have already tried?

5 “Italian” dishes that you won’t find in Italy: Reading Comprehension Quiz

After reading, click here to take a test and check your comprehension!

*Over 25,000 people from 24 global locations were surveyed and asked which out of 34 different national cuisines was their favourite.

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