Love that "American Style"!

When I first came to Italy, every now and then, I'd meet people who'd ask, "Tell me, is it true that Americans eat pasta with jam?" Nowadays, when I tease them about this, they say, "Oh, we were mistaken... that's the Germans!" (?!)

Anyway, I find interesting what's supposed to be "American style" here, and suspect there must be some deep-seated association with some kind of national character. But what and why is at times beyond me!

Take, for example, "americanata" in the Italian dictionary (translation mine): "Eccentric or clamorous word or deed, typical of the American PR mentality."

Other things in Italy that are "American style":

  • Coffee (the drip stuff, instead of espresso...)
  • Breakfast (that is, anything more than a croissant and espresso, like bacon and eggs...)
  • Professional Wrestling (that's okay... I don't really understand it in the U.S. either...)
  • Movies with happy endings
  • Placemats
  • Halter tops

Now, are "French Toast" and "French Fries" really French? Not if you ask them! And though maybe we did have "clamorous deeds," drip coffee, breakfast cereal, smackdown, placemats and halter tops before the Italians, what about other strange products "alla americana"?

My all-time favorite was probably the "Big Americans" frozen pizza: beyond the thick crust (as opposed to the traditional Italian thin, crispy one), it's the toppings which stood out, like tuna fish and corn! And I've actually seen in pizzerias "American-style" pizzas with french fries on them!!

Now, how's that for traditional American cuisine??

(Well, at least there wasn't any jam...)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With your twitter-reference I keep thinking these are new posts, then see the date from three years back and realize, oh, it's the way-back machine!

But the tuna-on-pizza thing is definitely a German thing. So there seem to be several instances of Italians mistaking German habits for American habits.

One time in Paris I ordered a quick small pizza in an outdoor cafe, not because I was trying to eat American, but just because it seemed the quickest thing to fuel myself up for the next onslaught on the Louvre or whatever. It arrived with basically a raw egg cracked atop it. What up with that?