In Italy having pizza in pizzeria is a big deal. When a bunch of friends decide to go out for a pizza, dramatic decisions must be taken. Where to go, what time, who is going to pick up whom and so forth.
Once all the details have been settled, eventually you sit at the table and then you need to know some basic rules in order to get the most out of your pizza night. REMEMBER: you are here to have pizza.
“Thou shalt have no other food before pizza”.
- Don’t overdo with starters. They are pitfalls devised by the Evil One in order to spoil pizza taste. Don’t let antipasti all’italiana, fritti misti and other delectable morsels tempt you, even though you are hungry like the wolf. Your stomach has limited storage room and if you stuff it with antipasti, you will be leaving some of your pizza in your dish. This is unbearable.
- Don’t order steak (or any other food) when in pizzeria. Don’t forget, you are here for pizza. If you decide for something different, you will be the only one who will be out-of-phase with your table mates. When you are devouring your steak, your friends will be looking at you in bewilderment and when they are enjoying their pizzas you will be sadly staring out of the table. Pizza is to be enjoyed together. All for pizza, pizza for all. That’s it.
- Don’t ask for variations in the pizza menu. Especially during week-ends. Even the humblest pizzeria menu lists fifty (to say the least) type of pizza toppings. Every pizzaiolo is very busy and any changes in the standard menu make him touchy and nervous. The risk is that your pizza can come out charred from the oven as a retaliation measure.
- Don’t try new toppings for pizza. Let’s assume that your pizzaiolo lets you break rule #3. OK, if you want to be spotted immediately as a non-Italian customer, you can order pizza with pineapple and bacon, or bratwurst and French fries on top. Pizza toppings are the classic ones and there is no need to try new food pairings (unless you want to be mocked by all your friends and deserve the pizzaiolo’s contempt).
- Don’t wait for everyone to be served. Forget about good manners when pizza is involved. Pizza gives its best when it comes out of the oven at the same temperature as the Sun surface, don’t let pizza cool down otherwise you’ll have something similar a (cold) chewing gum instead of the heavenly thing you ordered.
To be continued…