• Sweden's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Do Italians like Sweden's Italian restaurants?

The Local · 28 Mar 2014, 16:11

Published: 28 Mar 2014 16:11 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
TripAdvisor notes that there are almost 2,000 Italian restaurants in the Swedish capital, but even though Italian people here are spoilt for choice, they're not pleased with what shows up on the dinner plate.
 
Their major complaint is about the authenticity of the ingredients in the Italian dishes. Also, the cooks’ nationality plays an imperative part, many expats told The Local. 
 
"It's just pretending to be Italian food," says Luigi Servadio, an Italian doctoral candidate. "Simply because it lacks original ingredients and because it lacks original cooks." 
 
"There is a cultural difference in the way they cook. For example, when you prepare tomato sauce, it is not only the mixing of ingredients but it is about the way you mix the ingredients. It is also about the selection of the right kind of tomatoes. The preparation time matters a lot more in Italy than in Sweden,” explains Servadio. 
 
"We eat pasta and sauce in fixed combinations which we don’t see here in Stockholm. Here they use cream, put butter instead of oil, and prepare Bolognese in a pan and not a pot," says another northern Italian expat, who prefers to remain anonymous.  
 
Another PhD student complained about Stockholm Italian joints catering too much to Swedish tastes.  
 
"I think the main problem is due to the difference in raw produce like the vegetables, especially tomatoes, and the olive oil, as well as a certain 'Swedization' of different dishes," says Andrea. 
 
"So it's neither Italian nor Swedish," Rita Rustico Antonsson chimes in about the Suedo-Italian hybrids offered in restaurants.  
 
The amalgamation of two lands' taste does not provide the delicious results so many expats yearn for. Neither does the ambience of the restaurants please the expats, many of whom deem it artificial. 
 
Some play up the Italian stereotype too much, says Andrea. 
 
"Based on the image of Italy that foreigners have in their mind, which largely comes from the movies like The Godfather," says Andrea 
 
Every expat has their own list of favourite Italian restaurants. 
 
Pizzeria dell´Attore and Pane e Vino are two of the common Italian restaurants on the expats’ top list. 
 
"Pizzeria dell´Attore in Skeppargatan is my favourite because you get 80 percent original pizza. And I'm not just referring to the pizza, but also the venue. The atmosphere is quite similar to what you find in Italy," says Servadio. 
 
"For pizza, I love to go to Pane e Vino in Zinkensdamn because they make a real pizza from Naples," says Antonsson. 
 
The others topping the restaurants' list are Italiano on Nybrogatan, Italiano Papa on Riddargatan and Michelangelo in Gamla Stan and the chain of Primo Ciao Ciao. 
 
 
The expats readily came up with suggestions for the improvement of these Italian restaurants.
 
"Add different dishes each month from different regions so every Italian customer feels really at home, and Swedish diners can taste different dishes and simulate a trip to Italy," says Antonsson.
 
Many Italians would also love to be addressed in Italian, but also that request comes with caveats.
 
"Please! Speak Italian and avoid writing the menu with lots of spelling mistakes," says Servadio in a pleading tone. 
 
"If you don´t speak Italian and write Italian, your Italian cuisine is not credible. And you can feel it from the first bite."
 
 
Deepti Vashisht
 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish festive ad pulled following racist abuse of child
File photo of Swedish Lucia celebrations. Photo: Jack Mikrut/TT

Department store Åhléns announced on Monday that it was removing an online ad after the child in the picture was targeted by racist trolls.

Swedish nationalists sack MP accused of anti-Semitic slur
The Sweden Democrats have removed Anna Hagwall from the party. Photo: Roger Vikström/TT

Anna Hagwall has been slammed in Sweden for what was perceived to be an anti-Semitic attack on one of the country's media groups.

The Local Guide
What was that noise? There's no need to freak out, Sweden
Hi Fredrik, why are you so hoarse? Photo: Daniel Zdolsek/TT

Don't be alarmed if you heard a long, deafening siren on a Monday afternoon in Sweden. This is what it was.

Man detained for Malmö arson attack claimed by Isis
The building that was smoke damaged in the arson attack. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

The attack which caused smoke damage to a community centre in Malmö was claimed by Isis in a publication run by the extremist group.

Nobel Prizes
Bob Dylan writes speech for Nobel Prize ceremony
Bob Dylan. Photo: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

And one of Bob Dylan's songs will be performed at the awards ceremony, but not by the literature laureate himself.

The Local List
Six weird Swedish Christmas foods to try if you're brave
Yup, that's a pig's head with 'Merry Christmas' written on it. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

From fish treated in acid to 'egg cheese', The Local looks at some of the weirder Swedish Christmas foods on offer.

In pictures: Tour this unusal Swedish home at Christmas
This Swedish family have their own unique take on Christmas. Photo: www.adddesign.se Karlsborg

Houzz.se's Amanda Strömberg looks inside a Swedish family's unconventional take on Christmas at their farm.

Presented by the University of Gothenburg
8 fascinating programmes at the University of Gothenburg
Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se

Did you know the University of Gothenburg offers 60 master's programmes in English? And some of them may surprise you.

No fire, but: Gävle's baby yule goat run over by car
The tiny goat before the attack. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Not a great Christmas tradition, guys.

Swedes give low marks to pupils' performance
A classroom in Sweden. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Less than a fourth believe that Swedish pupils learn what they need to in school, a new poll suggests.

Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of New York
National
No, that loud noise wasn't someone strangling an elephant...
Sponsored Article
18 Stockholm innovations to keep an eye on
Gallery
People-watching: December 2nd-4th
National
Final proof that Sweden has NOT banned Christmas lights
Blog updates

14 November

Hello darkness, my old friend (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I started thinking about November’s blog for The Local at the end of October, as the…" READ »

 

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden's next big music export?
Travel
IN PICTURES: Stockholm's new myth-busting Viking museum
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so much talent from abroad
The Local Voices
Job market matchmaker hooks up 1,300 newcomers and Swedes
Gallery
People-watching: November 30th
National
This is how cold it's going to get in Sweden this week
Sponsored Article
Sweden to Hong Kong: The Local guide
Gallery
Property of the week: Skellefteå
Sponsored Article
We visited 5 'murder spots' in Malmö
National
Inside Sweden's perilous Sami reindeer pilgrimage
The Local Voices
'My name is Sami and I am a proud Swede - it hurts when people say I'm not Swedish'
Sponsored Article
Programmers' bootcamp: Change your life in 12 weeks
National
Swedish Advent 'less popular than Christmas Eve'
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm startups are teaching kids to program
Gallery
People-watching: November 25th-27th
Swedish city to put all workers through LGBT course
Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden's next big music export?
National
The five weirdest attacks on Sweden's giant straw yule goat
Sponsored Article
'Learning to trade gave me the life I wanted'
Gallery
People-watching: November 23rd
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: leading the way in clean energy innovation
The Local Voices
'Swedes are stylish: you need to dress well if you want to fit in'
Sponsored Article
Michael Björklund: 'Being a chef is crazy work'
National
Critics slam Swedish paper's Donald Trump cartoon as anti-Semitic
Sponsored Article
HIV in Sweden today is not like it was yesterday
National
Men call Sweden's mansplaining hotline for mansplaining tips
Sponsored Article
Mette Helbæk: ‘We have a basic human need to connect'
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
Terje Håkonsen: 'I try to make everything count'
Gallery
People-watching: November 18th-20th
Sponsored Article
Lina Thomsgård: 'I try to break down barriers every day'
Culture
Shooting starts on The Bridge 4
Sponsored Article
'We wanted to turn ideas into action'
Travel
Sweden's ten most beautiful places
The Local Voices
Having a Swedish girlfriend didn't help this Egyptian evade culture shock
Gallery
People-watching: November 16th
Culture
What the world of Harry Potter would look like... set in Sweden
The Local Voices
This new book by a Syrian writer gives refugee children their own hero
3,491
jobs available