If you look up the word Italian in the dictionary, I’m sure you’ll find the word eating included in it’s definition.

Italians and eating are synonymous.

Italians, eating, and talking are even more synonymous.

The photo you see above is of my mothers side of the family sitting down for a traditional Italian family dinner.

Notice the man sitting in the middle holding the wine glass. That was my mothers father. And I can still remember to this day that until he filled his wine glass and took the first sip, NO ONE was permitted to eat a morsel of food. Everyone took their eating cue from my grandfather. I swear to god, it was like sitting at the table with Marlon Brando as the godfather.

I don’t know whether any of you have ever seen the movie Moonstruck, but if you haven’t please rent it because it epitomizes what being Italian is. And all of the scenes you’ll watch of the Castorini family sitting around the dinner table is exactly how an Italian family acts while eating.

They like to talk. They like to talk VERY LOUD. And they all like to talk at the same time while every sentence overlaps each other.

Food seems to bring out the passion in Italians to the point of having to SCREAM every single word they utter.


So, if you’re looking to have a nice quiet meal, please don’t eat with an Italian family because I guarantee you’ll require ear plugs and several glass of Chianti to calm your nerves.

I remember my stepmother saying that the first time she sat down with our entire family to eat dinner, she thought we were all going to kill one another. She comes from a German-English background where dinner was eaten almost in silence, so eating with Italians felt like being in a sanitarium cafeteria.

You see, Italians like to wait until they sit down to dinner in order to have family discussions. The dinner table is a place where everything is literally laid out on the table, which means it’s nothing for them to argue while food is flying out of their mouths; slamming dishes around, as they’re passing platefuls of stuffed peppers and eggplant.

Now, to an non-Italian this may seem like strange behavior. But to an Italian it’s perfectly normal.

Dinner wouldn’t be dinner unless one good, heated discussion (half in English, half in Italian) was completed by the time the cannolis and coffee were ingested.

But no matter what was said in the heat of the moment, ten seconds later an Italian family will be kissing and hugging one another; saying what a wonderful dinner it was.

The men will all resume into the living room; smoking Italian cigars. While the women will resume into the kitchen; doing dishes and preparing Italian doggie bags for everyone to take home with them.

All looking forward to their next family dinner….