Italian Foods You Won't Find In Italy

Italian food is a favorite all across the United States and even the world. However, those Italian dishes can vary quite a bit. When the first wave of Italian immigrants came to America, they couldn't get many of the ingredients they used back home, so they have to improvise. Many of the "Italian" staples you see in Italian restaurants across the U.S. have never seen the light of day in the land that inspired it. While you may not see any of these dishes in Italy, you can definitely find them at your Lake of the Ozarks Italian restaurant.

1. Spaghetti and Meatballs

You can't go to an Italian restaurant in America without seeing this staple on the menu. However, you won't be able to find spaghetti and meatballs at a restaurant in Italy because it was invented in America. While Italians do enjoy their spaghetti and they do love meatballs, they don't eat them together. Typically, in Italy, meatballs are served on their own.

2. Garlic Bread

Italian dishes are traditionally much lighter on garlic than their American counterparts. Since Italy is all about olive oil, buttering bread is not something they typically do. Garlic bread was actually invented in the United States around the 1940s. Instead of garlic bread, Italians usually enjoy bruschetta, which is a toasted bread topped with olive oil, fresh tomatoes and other seasonings.

3. Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine, which is yet another staple in many Italian restaurants in the United States, is only found in one place in all of Italy, which is at Alfredo's in Rome. It was created there in 1920 by the chef, Alfredo, to appeal to the American clientele. Putting cream on pasta is rarely done in Rome, the home of pasta carbonara, the recipe calls for not a hint of cream. It was said that while honeymooning in Rome in the 1920s, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford loved Alfredo's pasta so much they brought it back home to the United States.

4. Mozzarella Sticks

While Mozzarella sticks may be a staple item in Italian restaurants across the United States (and even non-Italian restaurants), you won't be able to find them in Italy.

5. Sunday Sauce

Braised meat in tomato sauce may seem Italian, however, usually tomato sauce is tossed with pasta and served as an appetizer, and the meat is served as the second course. The Sunday Sauce is more of an Italian-American tradition.

6. Italian Dressing

While it may have Italian in the name, this tangy, bell pepper and herb-flecked salad dressing doesn't exist in Italy. Usually, in Italy, salads are exclusively dressed with oil and vinegar, or sometimes just oil.

7. Pepperoni Pizza

In Italy, you'll find pizzas topped with potato slices, anchovies, sausages, broccoli rabe, corn, prosciutto, but not pepperoni. The most beloved of "Italian" salami varieties was first mentioned in 1919 in an American print ad. It was believed to be inspired by spicy dry salamis from Southern Italy and Apulia. It's also worth noting that pizza in Italy is far less cheesy than pizzas in America.

If your craving any of these "Italian" dishes after reading this list, you better not hop on a plane to Italy - or you'll be disappointed! Instead, head on over to Li'l Rizzo's right here at the Lake of the Ozarks. We can help satisfy your craving for these popular dishes and more. We hope to see you soon at the best Italian restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks.

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