It wasn’t until my first morning abroad that I became aware of the vast difference between American and Italian food culture. This starts with the first meal of the day. Breakfast.
Growing up, I recall hearing my elementary teachers telling me that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, bacon, roasted potatoes, and buttered toast are popular menu items that make up a typical American breakfast. Portions are generous, the dishes are very hearty and full, and almost everything is prepared on a hot pan.
On the other side of the coin, Italian breakfasts typically consist of a cup of coffee and a small pastry. That’s it! One may also opt for bread and jam, yoghurt and fresh fruit, or my personal favorite, a tramezzino — a triangular, crust-less sandwich. Italian breakfasts, contrary to American breakfasts, are a rather simple affair. It is smaller in size, sweeter in taste, and everything is prepared without a stove-top.
Adjusting to this part of Italian food culture was surprisingly not as difficult as I expected it to be. In fact, I find it more enjoyable. It is quick and easy, making it convenient especially for a student on-the-go. I have also noticed that I feel more productive and energetic in the morning, which is out of character for someone who is a “night owl”!