You find yourself at a fine Italian restaurant, but you suddenly realize that you don’t really know how to properly eat any of their famous dishes. Whether it’s spaghetti, alfredo, lasagna, or stuffed shells, there’s no doubt that you’re going to want to try them all. Considering that you’re at a nice restaurant, you’ll want to know proper pasta-eating etiquette. Although it’s hard to believe, there is most definitely a right and wrong way to eat this popular food. In this article, we will be listing a few different ways to eat said pasta, so keep reading if you think you could use a refresher course on pasta etiquette.
Three Different Ways to Eat Pasta
According to some of the top etiquette professionals, there are only three truly proper ways to eat pasta, including:
Using a Fork Only
There are some long-noodled types of pasta that can be eaten with only a fork. In fact, this is how most Italians enjoy eating their pasta. It’s important to mention that any sized dinner fork is just fine for this.
1. Take the fork into your dominant hand, and lifting the fork, scoop up a small number of strands.
2. Point the fork sideways to keep most of the strands on the fork.
3. Give the fork a quick but gentle lift away from the plate, separating your forkful from the rest of the noodles.
4. You only need about three or four strands on your fork. While it may not look like a bunch at first, once it’s wound up it will be a generous amount.
5. Pressing your fork onto the side of the plate or a curved edge, slowly rotate your fork in circles to wind up the strands of pasta. If you notice that you still have some strands on your fork that are still dragging on your plate, just gently jerk your fork a little bit to separate them from the plate.
6. Now, carefully move the fork to your lips and put the whole bunch into your mouth. If the bunch is too big, you can always start over with fewer strands.
Using a Fork and Spoon
Some would say that the previous method is a bit too messy for them. If this is the case for you, just simply grab a dining fork and spoon for a bit more control. Any sized dining spoon or fork will do, or you can use a spoon that’s a bit flatter if you’d like.
1. Take the fork into your dominant hand and the spoon in the opposite hand.
2. Use your fork to gather up three or four strands of noodles. If that seems like too much, just take fewer strands onto the fork.
3. Use an up-down bouncing motion to separate your fork from the plate. Make sure to keep the fork facing the side of the plate so that none of the pasta can slip off of the fork.
4. Hold your spoon sideways so that its inward curve is facing the fork.
5. Press your fork against the curve of the spoon, lifting them together away from the rest of the pasta, but keeping them over the plate so you don’t get messy.
6. With the fork still pressed firmly against your spoon, begin to wind up the few strands on your fork into a small ball of pasta. Set the spoon to the side and bring the fork of pasta to your mouth, eating it like you would if you had just used a fork.
How True Italians Eat Pasta
Above we have given instructions on how to eat pasta with your spoon. Even though there is nothing wrong with eating it this way, most Italians would see this as a clumsy or childish way of eating your pasta. Here are some helpful tips to keep you from embarrassing yourself while having dinner at an Italian restaurant:
Traditionally, pasta isn’t cut or broken at any time while it’s being cooked or eaten. So if you find that the bundles of pasta are too big, don’t cut them, just start over with fewer strands of pasta.
Don’t plunge your fork into the middle of the pasta. Not only does this look goofy, but it makes eating your pasta harder and messier, as well. Avoiding this is simple: just use your fork to gather a few strands at a time and separate them from the rest of your pasta on the plate.
Keep your eating clean and dignified. To Italians, pasta isn’t something you shovel into your mouth. It’s a dish meant to be dignified, cherished, and savored.
If all else fails, remember to eat slowly and don’t pile food onto your plate. Also, if you make a mistake, don’t sweat it. It happens to everyone. So Enjoy it.