Traditional food habits of the Italians.
The traditional Italian breakfast (prima Colazione) is different from the English full breakfast. It consists of caffè e latte (hot coffee with milk) or coffee with bread or rolls, butter, and jam. A cookie-like hard bread called fette biscottate and cookies are commonly eaten. Children drink hot chocolate, plain milk, or hot milk with very little coffee. If breakfast is eaten in a bar (coffee shop), it is composed of cappuccino and cornetto (frothed hot milk with coffee, and a pastry) or espresso and pastry. Other products such as breakfast cereals, fruit salad (Macedonia), muesli and yogurt are becoming increasingly common as part of the meal. However the traditional Italian breakfast varies by region and by season. In some regions such as Tuscany and Umbria, in the past, people used to drink red wine (notably Chianti) in which they would dip their biscuits. It is also very common for some Italians to have a quick breakfast snack during the middle of the morning (typically a small panino, or bread roll). Lunch (Pranzo)
Lunch is traditionally regarded as the most important meal. Most shops traditionally close down in the pausa Pranzo (lunch break) between 13:00 and 16:00. In most schools, children are given a lunch break when they can go home for lunch, or eat at the school cafeteria, or eat a packed lunch. Since the introduction of fast foods, takeaways and frozen and tinned foods, Italians tend to eat less home-made food, but fresh food is still quite common, and most people buy bread, milk and other foods daily. Many adults still make their own food (e.g. tomato sauce from their own tomatoes), and takeaways are still not very frequent. A typical Italian lunch consists of a first course (pasta, rice or similar), a second course (meat, fish or vegetables) and fruit. An Insalata Caprese, a cold dish which might be consumed at a lunch in Italy during the hot summer....
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