The Reason You Probably Can't Order Ranch With Your Pizza In Italy

When traveling to Europe, there are more than a few cultural differences that travelers need to watch out for. Some of these include avoiding overtipping, possibly being disappointed when food portions are much smaller, and having to pay for water and bread (per Far & Wide).

And like with many European countries and their own dining rules, Italy has its list of dos and don'ts. For example, parmesan doesn't go on seafood pasta, and cocktails are meant to be consumed before dining — not during the main course, as reported by Fodor's. In the sauce realm, don't expect to find any Italian dressing for your salad, either, since only a simple vinaigrette of oil, vinegar, and salt is common.

This may come as a surprise for those who have an open love affair with condiments — especially in the U.S., where it's typical to find restaurant tables already lined with bottles of ketchup, mustard, or hot sauce and asking for a side of ranch for your salad isn't uncommon. Ranch dressing obsession is a thing for many, and some people liberally douse the most unexpected foods like cinnamon toast crunch to chicken fingers in the sauce, and of course, there is the contentious combination of ranch sauce and pizza (via Thrillist).

So for pizza lovers who have a taste for creamy white condiment, don't be surprised if you offend Italian locals by asking for this type of dipping sauce. In fact, you probably wouldn't even be able to get your hands on some ranch if you tried — here's why.

Italian pizza is to be enjoyed by itself without dipping sauce

Simply put, ranch doesn't really exist in Italy, making it hard to come by if you want to order a side for dipping your pizza in or topping your bed of greens. For Italians, eating pizza is best in its purest form. There is no need for chili pepper flakes, grated cheese, or dipping sauce, as this may detract from the pizza's full flavor, per Chef Travel Guide

Even the way they eat their pizza may seem different, although not unheard of. It's a more classy, less messy affair — instead of eating a slice of pizza by folding it with your hands, Italians use a fork and knife. There's also no sharing since it's typically expected that one pizza is consumed per person. And when it comes to their choice of drink, you may be surprised that wine isn't their preference to pair with pizza. Chef Travel Guide shares that they like to wash their slices down with a beer or sparkling water. 

According to Authentic Vacations, just like you wouldn't ask for ranch at an Italian pizza spot, you probably won't ask for takeaway bags or boxes since the pizza is pretty easy to finish off in one sitting. So while an authentic pizza-eating experience in Italy may call for certain rules and requirements, it's to enjoy the pie in its simplicity and follow the idea that less really is more.