Food - Drink
The Only Substitution Request Acceptable At Restaurants In Italy
BY AUTUMN SWIERS
Food carries particular cultural import in Italy, and a meal in the country often serves as a symbol of years of heritage and culinary prowess. It's no surprise, then, that asking to alter your meal prepared by a skilled chef is considered unmannerly; in fact, there's only one substitution request that's acceptable at restaurants in Italy.
Many Italian chefs follow family-owned recipes passed down for generations and have expertly designed your meal down to the last detail. The only situation in which requesting a substitution isn't a social taboo is if you have an allergy or a severe intolerance, in which case chefs will obviously listen to your request so as not to harm you.
In accordance with this unspoken rule, requesting alterations that have nothing to do with ingredients, such as asking for a dish with "sauce on the side," is quite simply never done in Italy. Unless you physically cannot consume or digest a certain ingredient, avoid asking for changes and respect the chef's quality expertise.