1/30/2013 11:28:00 AM

The 9 Most Annoying Italian Food Trends

While Italian cooking is timeless, the trends on display at your local restaurant come and go. And perhaps some of them should go more quickly than others - when we asked you to sound off about the most annoying things about the Italian dining scene, you didn't hesitate to get fired up. Respondents let loose about gross ingredients, "stupid" pizza toppings and inauthentic cuisine. (A number of people also complained about the Jersey Shore cast - duly noted.) Click through the slide show to see the subjects that inspired the most griping in our survey, and let us know more things that you'd like to see banished from the world of Italian food.

34 comments :

  1. Complaining about olive oil with bread is the most ludicrous thing I've heard in a while. If you want butter packets there are several nice applebees locations in the city. In Italy you would be hard pressed to find a restaurant that puts butter on the table.

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    1. Correct, no butter and no olive oil, except to dress insalata. Perhaps you've been spending too much time at Olive Garden?

      A presto,

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    2. I think it was more of just "I don't need this before my high carb meal".

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    3. The problem here is crappy olive oil and, very often, lousy bread! Id rather a restaurant charge a "coperta" and provide really good oil and crusty bread (NOT Sourdough EVER!)

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    4. I spent a week in Florence and a day in Venice and a day in Pisa, and I never was served olive oil with bread, in fact, was never served butter with bread, and the bread was made without salt. We salted it at the table and had to ask for butter. So, what is really Italian here?

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    5. Italians use butter on bread, or sometimes nothing at all. Olive oil on bread in Italy, I guess could be considered "peasant food," primarily for those who could not afford butter. (That is not to say it is not delicious!)
      In any case, true Italian breads are as rare as truffles here in the USA! In New York, there are still a few true Italian bread bakeries that specialize just in breads. I suspect the same is true for Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. In Florida, they have a few as well(to serve the zillions of NY Italians who moved here), but not quite as good as in NYC. But outside a major city, with a large Italian community, forget about authentic Italian breads.

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    6. In Italy, we DO NOT put butter or olive oil on bread...we make the bread with salt, unless you are in Tuscany which they choose to make it without it

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  2. How can Incanto be one of "The Hottest Italian Restaurants in the U.S." and yet diners are turned of by offal? Who writes this stuff?

    http://blog.zagat.com/2013/01/the-hottest-italian-restaurants-in-us.html

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    1. Well, it's kind of a catch 22 isn't it? People want authenticity, yet they are turned off by what Italians really eat.

      It's not just a case of something like tripe being "what the poor eat in Italy." Sure, that is true in many cases, but it is also true that the wealthy eat it, if they enjoy it. In any case, why would it bother anyone if it is on the menu? Simply don't order it, or be intelligent about what you are ordering.

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  3. Wow! What a horrible list. Just because some people don't like (or want to try) a dish, doesn't mean it should be removed from the menu as long as enough customers are ordering it to make it profitable for the restaurant. There are certain foods that I don't like, but I don't ask the offending restaurant to remove them from the menu. Several of the complaints are aimed towards Italian cuisine as it is commonly served and/or prepared in Italy - so I guess these people don't like actual Italian food. Finally, the complaint about truffles has a photo of morel mushrooms - not truffles.

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    1. Err, I believe that would be your Olive Garden Crowd.

      Outside of gourmets, foodies, and large city cognizati, Americans will hands down prefer Americanized Italian foods/cuisine.

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  4. Umm, guys:
    You're truffle picture is actually morel mushrooms....

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    1. no. it isnt. not even close. thats a white truffle. morels look nothing like this. know what you are talking about before you post.

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  5. There is very little on this list that I actually agree with.

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  6. Very poor list and horrible writing. Zagat/Google needs some quality control.

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    1. Now that google owns Zagat, they are now "Zagatising" everything!

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  7. Another bad thing about Italian restaurants is that eventually the food makes you poop. How dare they?!?

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  8. The pricey pasta plate had sliced black truffles on it not morels.

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  9. While I do not indulge in the offal offerings, it means more of the animal is being used, rather than thrown away. As someone who doesn't eat meat often, I would rather not see an animal die just so someone can feast on select parts. After all, if someone will eat it, why not serve it rather than wasting food? Long before Batali was born, my father's favorite Italian dish was tripe- and he worked in an Italian neighborhood where this was a delicacy, not something trendy to overpay for.

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  10. Sorry, folks, I agree with most of this assessment by Zagat. And the ones I most agree with are 1) Over-priced Italian food 2) Ridiculous pizza toppings 3) Faux-Italian and 4) truffles. And, yes, the photo is incorrectly labeled, but still, people over-praise & overprice truffles so much, you'd think they were, well, 5) Sliced Italian bread with olive oil! :)

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    1. I agree with this comment...my only addition is that I am Italian, not overweight like the rest of America and I love bread. Not really before meals but during meals and after to clean the plate....lol.So you carb counters should get a life, forget your no carb diets and enjoy bread any way you like...dump the junk food in between meals to lose weight.

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    2. haha well said. If people don't want carbs then why do they go to an italian restaurant??? Removing bread from italian food is just as bad as removing the pasta.

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  11. If someone doesn't want bread or bread with olive oil--don't eat it. The waiter will even remove it if the sight of bread disgusts you. I like it. Certainly if the oil is old, you ask for fresh oil.

    What's annoying about squid ink dishes? I enjoy them occasionally. If you don't like something that's on the menu, here's a tip": DON'T ORDER IT! I realize that's a very radical concept. But in over 60 years of eating I have generally found that if there is something on the menu that I don't like, the waiter usually doesn't bring it to me if I don't order it.

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  12. WOW - All of these "annoyances" were gathered from a Zagat survey? Where was this survey taken ... Olive Garden?

    No truffles? No squid ink pasta? No offal? Century old ingredients. The heart (no pun intended) of many a classic dish. If this is the direction in which the American palate is headed ... I am truly embarrassed.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. Variety is good. If it does not appeal to you, then don't eat it. As for bread and olive oil, if it is fresh then opt to eat it. Maybe add a few pepper flakes to the oil.

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  13. How can you possibly discuss "annoying" food practices without the mention of FOAM?!. . I can't think of anything less appetizing than a dish that looks like it didn't agree with your dog's digestive system. . .

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  14. Here's an annoying trend: Zagat slideshows for EVERY topic.

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    1. As long as it's a picture of FOOD ~ it's all good with me!

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  15. No offal, drop the truffles and kill the squid ink? Sounds like you just really aren't into authentic regional cuisines! So stick to the ersatz Italian foods
    at strip-mall red sauce joints and chain restaurants. And don't ever come to Italy!

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  16. Who's the MORON who said anything about a morel mushroom being pictured here? And you think you know something about food - lol

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    1. Once the mistake was brought to the attention of Zagat ... the photo was changed. Only a moron would have left the incorrect photo on the site. D'oh! - lol

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  17. Morel/Truffel?? Look carefully and you can see the face of E.T.!

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  18. Blah blah blah. If you like it, eat it. If you don't, don't. The only thing I agree with is the annoying celebrity chefs. I wonder which was was mentioned. had to be batali, that pompous know-nothing windbag.

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