• Sweden edition
 
Do Italians like Sweden's Italian restaurants?

Do Italians like Sweden's Italian restaurants?

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

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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
National
Flood and high wind warning in east Sweden
Stockholm experienced heavy rain on Sunday. Photo: TT

Flood and high wind warning in east Sweden

After heavy rain broke off the September sunshine in eastern Sweden on Sunday, forecasters warn more bad weather is on the way. READ  

National
Two hurt in Helsingborg ferry crash
The damaged ferry is being inspected on Monday. Photo: TT

Two hurt in Helsingborg ferry crash

UPDATED: A ferry crashed into a pier in the port of Helsingborg in southern Sweden on Sunday night, with two people taken to hospital following the collision. READ  

Elections 2014
Waiting game for Social Democrat leader
Stefan Löfven will return to parliament on Friday. Photo: TT

Waiting game for Social Democrat leader

Stefan Löfven, who has been tasked with forming Sweden's next government, is facing an anxious few days ahead of his next crucial meeting with Parliament's speaker on Friday. READ  

National
Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Summer has come to a definite end in Kiruna as residents of the northern town were greeted with a blanket of snow on Sunday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment. READ  

National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Finest
Gallery
People-watching September 19th - 21st
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

846
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN