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How to eat Spaghetti?

Many non-Italians don’t know how to eat spaghetti. This is true even for the U.S. in spite of the large Italian community.

Italian table manners when you are in front of a dish of spaghetti are very simple.

First of all as a general rules, keep your hands on the table throughout the meal and no elbows, and wait for everyone to be served before starting to eat.
The most common mistake is to overload too much pasta on the fork. If you decide it’s too big or too long, drop it down and pick up a smaller bunch. Roll it again until you form a precise bundle, just the right size to go into your mouth.

More mistakes to avoid:

Don’t slurp. Absolutely no sounds of any kind.

Don’t splatter. Spaghetti can sometimes splatter the sauce. So be careful, but don’t wear a napkin as a bib unless you are a small kid.

Avoid spaghetti for large or formal parties. Short pasta (rigatoni, penne, etc) are much easier to serve and to eat.

Scarpetta, (meaning "little shoe"), is when eating pasta sauce, it is so delicious that every little bit should be wiped out of the dinner plate with a piece of fresh bread. It is not proper to do the Scarpetta at a formal dinner. If you are in an informal setting instead, compliment the cook and ask your guests for permission to make a Scarpetta. They will all agree with you with a big smile.

Don’t use the spoon when eating spaghetti to help you wrap the pasta. It is considered bad form. Spaghetti should be eaten with the fork only.

Never cut the threads of pasta with the knife or the fork. Spaghetti is sold in the right length, about 10 -inches long, and that is just the right size.
Spaghetti are served in a ”piatto fondo” a deep bowl like a shallow soup-dish with a rim. Make room at the front of the bowl pushing the spaghetti a little toward the center. Take a little bunch of the spaghetti with the prongs of the fork. Push it against the front side.

Now, working with the fork in a vertical position, and the prongs against the rim of the bowl, twirl the fork clockwise with your fingers to roll the spaghetti around your fork. Raise the fork with the spaghetti wrapped around above the bowl, and measure the length with your eyes.

The most common mistake is to overload too much pasta on the fork. If you decide it’s too big or too long, drop it down and pick up a smaller bunch. Roll it again until you form a precise bundle, just the right size to go into your mouth.

More mistakes to avoid:

Don’t slurp. Absolutely no sounds of any kind.

Don’t splatter. Spaghetti can sometimes splatter the sauce. So be careful, but don’t wear a napkin as a bib unless you are a small kid.

Avoid spaghetti for large or formal parties. Short pasta (rigatoni, penne, etc) are much easier to serve and to eat.

Scarpetta, (meaning "little shoe"), is when eating pasta sauce, it is so delicious that every little bit should be wiped out of the dinner plate with a piece of fresh bread. It is not proper to do the Scarpetta at a formal dinner. If you are in an informal setting instead, compliment the cook and ask your guests for permission to make a Scarpetta. They will all agree with you with a big smile.


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