10 “Italian” Sauces Unknown In Italy

494234277Cooking is not only about tastes. It also covers other things, such as culture and history. For instance, many think that Italian sauces are the most original recipes in the planet, because they are very famous in making different pasta dishes. On the other hand, there are lots sauces or gravies that are known to be Italian, though they don’t even exist Italy. You might be surprised one day that your favorite famous Italian sauce is not actually from there. Below are 10 famous sauces that many think as Italian, though Italians don’t really own them.

Fra Diavolo Sauce

Fra Diavolo is the nickname of a famous Neapolitan guerrilla leader, Michele Pezza. Though many believe that Fra Diavolo is an Italian sauce, Italians actually don’t have this type of sauce in their early recipe books. One probable reason that this sauce was named after the famous leader is because Pezza was known for his bravery. The Fra Diavolo Sauce is known to have strong flavor due to cayenne and other types of pepper, which resembles the strength of Pezza during the French rule.

Primavera Sauce

Another famous sauce in most restaurants today is the Primavera. Unknown to many, this sauce was created in Nova Scotia in 1975 by an Italian American chef. After preparing this hearty sauce in Canada, the chef brought the recipe to New York where it became famous.

Roasted Garlic Sauce

There is no doubt that Italians love to roast peppers, garlic and other spices to make their gravies more flavorful. Roasted garlic sauce can be seen in almost every grocery store on the Italian section. Many think that it is traditionally part of the Italian cuisine, but it is in fact a recipe that resembles Italian-Americans.

Alfredo Sauce

Pasta Alfredo is often found in Italian restaurant menus, but in reality, Alfredo is an American remake of the Italian recipe called Pasta al burro. Many people think that this sauce is Italian because of the ingredients used. Then again, if you will go back in history, you’d know that this is just a way for Americans to embrace Italian cuisine.

Sunday Sauce

Sugo della domenica, which means Sunday sauce, does not really describe a specific recipe. It is only used an expression among Italians because for them, Sunday is a special day when people eat special meals cooked by their mothers. In the US, people think that there really is Sunday gravy since most Italian-Americans prepare meaty gravies for Sunday lunch. If you go to Italy and literally look for Sunday gravy, you’ll find out that there’s no specific product because it’s based on every mother’s recipe.

Other Sauces That Are Unknown In Italy

There are other sauces or gravies that people classify as Italian, even if they unknown in Italy. For instance, the Fresca sauce is not a real Italian sauce because Fresca means fresh, which often pertains to a kind of salsa or salad. The Pescatore sauce may also sound strange to any local Italian because Pescatore means fisherman. It just so happened that there are certain herbs that Italians use with seafood, but there is no such thing as a fisherman’s sauce. The three cheese sauce is undoubtedly American, but people think it’s Italian because it blends well to most Italian pasta dishes. Others believe that the Garlic Parmesan is purely Italian, but once you meet a traditional Italian friend, you’d know that they don’t have this type of sauce. Instead, they’d offer you Parmigiano Reggiano, which is not like the pre-packed shaved cheese you’d find in supermarkets. It’s a piece of hard cheese that you’d have to grate, but definitely more flavorful than packed cheese. Lastly, you should take note that the Italian white bean sauce is not and should not be classified as Italian because the real Italian pasta with white beans is runny, and not thick like Carbonara sauce that you see in most restaurants.

If You Want To Know More About Real Italian Cuisine, You Can Follow Updates From Our Italian Home Kitchen!


18 thoughts on “10 “Italian” Sauces Unknown In Italy

  1. So so so so true!!!!!!! Thank you for commenting on this sad reality…I just received an email the other day from an otherwise wonderful family member who wanted to know what ‘alfredo sauce’ I would recommend, since he wanted to treat his wife to a nice Valentine’s Day meal. Now, he is a lovable man and so I didn’t get snippy with him, but sometimes these situations absolutely drive me BATTY!

      • Lol!!! Nice to know I’m not alone!! I ended up Googling some alfredo recipes and sending him 3 that looked good…I find that some people are open to expanding their palate and knowledge of foods and some aren’t. I have the sense that he’s in the latter category because he’s a guy that tends to eat to live, and not the other way around. I don’t understand it, but he’s not the only person I met who’s really not into food…

  2. I find it so interesting how things become labeled as one thing or another, and then seen as “belonging” to a particular culture, simply by virtue of what they are called. Also it’s equally interesting how ethnic cuisines are adapted to suit the taste buds of the culture that’s cooking them e.g. Indian food in the UK, Chinese food in South Africa…

  3. Another thing is Italians use a lot less garlic than we all think they do. When a company like Cirio or Dolmio is making a packaged sauce, they have one line for exports and one line for the Italian home market, in which they put a lot less garlic. I only found that out the other day!

  4. I think this article is a good illustration of how foods can morph from one generation to the next. Dutch cuisine disappeared a few generations after their colonial days brought Indonesian and Indian flavors into their country and onto the dinner table.

  5. Excellent post. It’s the same story for “Italian salad dressing.” I went to an Italian restaurant in the US with a couple Italian friends and they were so curious to know what this Italian dressing was πŸ˜€

  6. Interesting story about alfredo sauce, but there are at least two restaurants in Rome that claim to be the home of alfredo sauce, one is owned by Alfredo Di Lelio’s son, and one that Alfredo Di Lelio owned and then sold.

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