1. Ok so pasta comes to mind when I say Italy and inevitably that famous phrase that describes pasta that’s cooked to perfection
Al dente, meaning firm to the bite or literally translated to mean “to the tooth”
And word is, Italian chefs would really fight tooth and nail to keep from serving overcooked pasta
Why? Because according to research, overcooked pasta is more difficult to digest than pasta that’s cooked to al dente perfection.
But how Italian chefs judge the al dente perfection of their spaghetti is quite another story
Apparently, the ultimate spaghetti test involves tossing or throwing the noodles against the wall to see if they’d stick
Because the second they do… the noodles are done!
So if pasta is on the menu for tonight’s dinner
And you don’t wanna dirty your walls
Do a taste test once every 5 minutes to make sure you don’t miss that magical moment in the pasta cooking cycle when the noodles have reached the perfect level of preparation before dousing it with tangy tomato sauce, meatballs and parmesan cheese…hmmm!
2. When in Rome, do what the Romans do…
a timely reminder to adapt yourself to the customs of the places you visit, and behave like the people in that country.
It’s only wise, if you think about it.
Not only will it keep you out of trouble, it can also help you get the most out of your holiday.
Every country has its own set of absurd and unusual laws, Italy is no exception.
Like for example, the village of Falciano del Massico made headlines in 2012 when they outlawed death because the cemetery is full
And… if you walk your dog only once a day… you’re liable for a 500 Euros fine cos Turin’s Gold Standard is you must walk your dog 3 times a day
Also, do avoid going to Milan if you’re a serious person, because you may end up being slapped with a 100 Euros fine for frowning
So unless you’re attending a funeral or at the hospital visiting a friend in Milan, it’s best to turn that frown upside down
3. Now if you’re nuts about the chocolate-hazelnut Nutella spread, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, tic-tac sweets, and kinder eggs… we’ve got Michele (pronounced mi-CARE-lay) Ferrero to thank.
Forbes called him the real life Willy Wonka simply because his fast-growing chocolate factory quickly expanded to become a truly global network.
Using Italy as a base, Michele sourced for Turkish hazelnuts, cocoa from Nigeria, sugar from Brazil and palm oil from Malaysia with factories extending far and wide to Australia, South America, Western Europe, Russia and Canada.
As of 2015, the late Michele Ferrero, owner of the famous chocolate empire was a high net worth individual with assets of over 23 billion dollars making him Italy’s richest man putting his family in 32nd place on the list of the world’s wealthiest people
And coming back to the famous Nutella spread. Word is…this famous chocolate-hazelnut spread wasn’t always so spreadable
Apparently, the forerunner was sold in bricks and was meant to be sliced and eaten with bread
It was Michele who added vegetable oil to his father’s original recipe and made the Nutella Spread the way it is today
4. Some of the world’s greatest explorers like Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo hail from Bel pa-e-se – the poetic description for Italy, meaning the “beautiful country”.
But apart from its stupendous seafaring tradition, Italians are also amazing inventors
In fact, Italy has been the source of many significant inventions for generations.
Amongst these are battery, thermometer, ice cream cone, type-writer, violin, scooter, mechanical clock, optical glasses and the list goes on.
But perhaps that one single invention that’s most shrouded in conTROversy is the telephone.
Now we’ve all been told that Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone
But word is, he wasn’t the first to actually invent it
it was his design that was first patented in 1876
Apparently, Alexander Graham Bell himself, American electrical engineer Elisha Gray and an Italian immigrant Antonio Meucci were at the centre of this conTROversy.
Some say Elisha was the true inventor of the telephone and it was Alexander who stole his idea while Antonio is famous for creating a voice-communication apparatus which several sources credit as the first telephone.
Well whoever it was, I’m just so thankful to be able to pick up the phone and call whomever I want, whenever I want