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Here are all the worst things you can do to Italian food, according to a poll of Italians

A survey has identified the most controversial ways to eat pasta, pizza and other classic dishes

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

Fan of pineapple on your pizza? Can’t get enough of creamy carbonara? Italian cuisine is adored around the world, but the way people choose to eat it is controversial AF.

That might be because pizza and pasta have spread so far and wide that people have inevitably begun to put their own spin on them. It may be because every Italian region originally had its own way of doing things, anyway. In reality, it’s probably a mix of both.

But that doesn’t mean Italians are any less angry about what’s happened to their many classic dishes. An official YouGov poll has just ranked the most egregious ‘crimes against Italian foods’ – and boy are the results humbling.

To come up with the ranking, the pollsters compiled a list of 19 ways in which foreigners have been accused of butchering Italian food. They then asked a bunch of Italians what they really thought and gave each cooking style a number. Positive numbers mean more people say it is acceptable than unacceptable, while negative numbers mean the opposite.

The most unacceptable dining choices include having garlic bread with a pasta meal, which got a score of minus 14, and drinking a cappuccino with dessert (minus 23). Even more outrageous is including cream in a carbonara sauce (minus 45), having pineapple on a pizza (minus 63) and, worst of all, having ketchup with pasta (minus 82).

The country isn’t aligned on all the issues, though. The response to having a risotto as a side dish was pretty mixed (2), as was snapping spaghetti before cooking it (minus 1). However, respondents agreed that cutting it with a knife after boiling was much worse (minus 46).

Italians aren’t totally pro-tradition, though. Having meatballs with spaghetti is an Italian-American invention, but this has caught on at home, too – with a score of 58, it’s definitely now acceptable to the majority of Italians. Phew.

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