Food (il cibo) is one of the most meaningful aspects of Italian culture.
Let's start with an overview on Italian food.
In the following table you'll find the main kinds of meat (la carne).
|la bistecca||the steak|
|il pollo||the chicken|
|il maiale||the pork|
|lo stufato||the stew|
|le costolette||the ribs|
|le polpette||the meatballs|
|la salsiccia||the sausage|
|il prosciutto cotto||the cooked ham|
|il prosciutto crudo||the raw ham|
|la pancetta||the bacon|
|il salame||the salami|
In the following table you'll find the main kinds of seafood (il pesce/ i frutti di mare).
|il pesce||the fish|
|il merluzzo||the cod|
|il tonno||the tuna|
|il polpo||the octopus|
|il gambero||the shrimp|
|il gamberetto||the little shrimp|
|il calamaro||the squid|
|la vongola||the clam|
|la cozza||the mussel|
|il salmone||the saumon|
|la trota||the trout|
|la sardina||the sardine|
In the following table you'll find the main kinds of vegetables (le verdure).
|il pomodoro||the tomato|
|la carota||the carrot|
|la lattuga||the lettuce|
|il carciofo||the artichoke|
|il cavolo||the cabbage|
|il cavolfiore||the cauliflower|
|la melanzana||the eggplant|
|la zucchina||the zucchini|
|il peperone||the pepper|
|il peperoncino||the chili pepper|
|il cetriolo||the cucumber|
|la zucca||the pumpkin|
|la cipolla||the onion|
|la patata||the potato|
|i fagioli||the beans|
|i fagiolini||the green beans|
|i piselli||the peas|
|i funghi||the mushrooms|
In the following table you'll find the main kinds of fruit (la frutta).
"Il frutto" is one singular unit of fruit (the fruit)," i frutti" are more than one frutto (the fruits), "la frutta" is a part of the meal or a category among food.
|la mela||the apple|
|il limone||the lemon|
|la pera||the pear|
|la pesca||the peach|
|la fragola||the strawberry|
|il mirtillo||the blueberry|
|la mora||the blackberry|
|la ciliegia||the cherry|
|il melone||the melon|
In the following table you'll find the main desserts (i dolci).
|il dolce||the dessert|
|il cioccolato||the chocolate|
|la torta||the cake|
|la crostata||the pie|
|il gelato||the ice cream|
|la panna||the cream|
|la panna montata||the whipped cream|
|la crema pasticcera||the custard|
Another typical Italian dessert are:
The most important Italian meals are breakfast (la colazione), lunch (il pranzo) e dinner (la cena).
Especially among kids, it's also common to have a snack (la merenda).
Some expression that can be useful in this context are to be hungry that translates as avere fame and to be thirsty that translates as avere sete.
Be careful! To express the need of eating/drinking:
In English verb to be + adjective vs. in Italian verb to have + noun
Breakfast is eaten right after waking up and usually involves:
|il latte||the milk|
|i cereali||the cereals|
|il cornetto||the croissant|
|la marmellata||the jam|
|i biscotti||the biscuits|
|il burro||the butter|
|le fette biscottate||the crisp bread|
|il té||the tea|
|il caffé||the coffee|
|la cioccolata calda||the hot chocolate|
|lo zucchero||the sugar|
|il miele||the honey|
|il succo di frutta||the fruit juice|
|la frutta||the fruit|
|la nutella||the nutella|
As you can see, Italian breakfast is usually based on sweet food.
Lunch is eaten from 12 am or 2 pm while dinner is usually eaten from 7.30 pm to 9 pm.
The most typical Italian food of these meals are la pasta, la pasta al forno/le lasagne and la pizza.
In the following table you'll find some other vocabs about food eaten and used during lunch and dinner.
|il pane||the bread|
|il riso||the rice|
|il sugo||the tomato sauce|
|l'arrosto||the roasted meat|
|la zuppa||the soup|
|il formaggio||the cheese|
|le uova||the eggs|
|l'olio d'oliva||the olive oil|
|il prezzemolo||the parsley|
|il rosmarino||the rosemary|
|il basilico||the basil|
|il maionese||the mayonnaise|
|il sale||the salt|
|il pepe||the black pepper|
Snack, very common among kids (but not only among them) when they come back from school, is usually eaten around 4 or 5 pm.
In the following table you'll find some other vocabs about food eaten and used during snack.
|il succo||fruit juice|
|le bibite||soft drinks|
|la pizza e la focaccia||pizza and focaccia|
In the following table you'll find some vocabs about the main drinks (le bevande).
|l'acqua naturale||the still water|
|l'acqua frizzante||the sparkling water|
|l'aranciata||the orange juice|
|la limonata||the lemon juice|
|il vino||the wine|
|la birra||the beer|
|il liquore||the liqueur|
Italy is one of the leading wine-producing countries in the world.
Some of the most famous and appreciated wines are:
White, sparkling sweet wine is called spumante, commonly drank on special occasions such as celebrations and informal events.
After big meals, sometimes Italian people drink some liqueurs called digestivi.
The most known are:
Take a look at the following dialogue about food.
|Anna||Per colazione, prima di andare al lavoro, bevo sempre il té con latte e biscotti||For breakfast, before going to work, I always drink tea with milk and biscuits|
|Sara||Io non mangio tanto a colazione, preferisco mangiare una mela o bere un succo verso le 10||I don't eat a lot at breakfast, I prefer eating an apple or drink some juice around 10 am|
|Anna||E a pranzo? Preferisci la pasta o il riso?||And at lunch? Do you prefer pasta or rice?|
|Sara||Mangio spesso la pasta con il sugo, anche se durante la settimana di solito mangio un panino con prosciutto o salame. Per cena mia madre cucina spesso una zuppa.||I often eat pasta with tomato sauce, even if during the week I usually eat a sandwich with ham or salami. For dinner my mum often cooks a soup.|
|Anna||Anche la mia! Però il sabato sera ordiniamo le pizze con i miei amici. La mia preferita è quella con carciofi, olive, prosciutto crudo e funghi.||Mine too! However, on Saturday nights we order some pizzas with my friends. My favourite is the one with artichokes, olives, raw ham, and mushrooms.|
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