No One Eats These 11 "Italian" Foods in Italy

Garlic bread would be among the world's best-tasting dishes. What's not to love about garlicky, buttery bread? Calories, simple carbs (which raise blood pressure), and sodium abound. It's not even Italian!

Garlic bread

Fettucine alfredo? Seafood? What's more? It's not available in Italy. This recipe presumably originated from the traditional Italian dish of langoustines sautéed in olive oil and herbs. America did what it does best (worst) by substituting butter for olive oil and adding pasta to shrimp scampi.

Shrimp scampi

You may feel cheated. Marinara's not Italian? Nope. Red sauce on pasta and pizza is different from sauces in Europe.

 Marinara sauce

This one is less frightening but hilarious: Italian wedding soup. It's not very Italian. The Boot doesn't provide sausage and spaghetti. Most Italian wedding soups are heavy in sugar and salt.

Italian wedding soup

"Italian" hoagies or submarines are on the same page as Italian Wedding Soup. "Italian" sandwiches are distinctly American. These gigantic sammies are packed with meat, cheese, and veggies.

Italian subs

Another Italian meal fake? Dressing "Italian" Oil, vinegar, herbs, spices, sugar, and more go into this tart vinaigrette. Italians rarely dress salads, and if they do, they use olive oil.

Italian dressing

Italy doesn't serve pepperoni pizza. Rephrase: Italy serves pepperoni pizza, but not salami circles. You'll get bell pepper-topped slices. When Italians arrived to America, "pepperoni" became synonymous with "meat"

Pizza pepperoni

Chicken Parmesan is comfort food's hero. This dish isn't Italian, but you might not care. Who can you trust? In Italy, roasted eggplant with Parmesan is like chicken Parmesan.


No! Spaghetti with meatballs? True. Americans invented spaghetti and meatballs. When we think of Italian food, we image spaghetti, meatballs, and a snowfall of Parmesan cheese, but this is a Lady and the Tramp fantasy. Meatballs are often served as an appetiser in Italy. Meat is unusual in pasta.


Little Italy in New York serves this creamy, cheesy pasta dish. Cream is rarely used in real Alfredo pasta dishes.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Fried? Embarrassing? Nutrient-poor? This one's obvious. Americans love mozzarella sticks. Only mozzarella, a Southern Italian cheese, links them to Italy. If you want authentic Italian, skip these.

Mozzarella sticks

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