Travelling and sampling different types of food from different parts of the world is incredible. Even more awesome is walking in the shoes of a native of that region. But the last thing you want to do is embarrass yourself because you don’t know customs or the lingo.
Like that time while in Paris when I embarrassed myself publicly at a café in the Latin District. I had the nerve to ask for a “to-go cup” for my French roast and the barista stared at me like an idiot. In France, if a barista brews you a coffee, don’t insult him by putting it in plastic. Sit and drink it, like the rest of the Frenchies. Learn the lingo, learn the customs.
So here are the basics:
1. The Works
Instead of naming every pizza topping you want (23 out of the 25 available), simply tell the guy, “I’ll take the works” and he’ll put all meats, veggies and fruits on your pizza. It saves them a lot of time, they won’t look at you like you’re crazy, and you can pick off the ones you don’t want when you get home.
2. Deep Dish or Flatbread
You also must know what kind of dough (bread) you want, especially if you’re not ordering from a generic chain like Domino’s or Pizza Hut. A popular variety is deep dish, where your pizza is like a soup bowl filled with cheese and other toppings. The closest Italian original is the flatbread. You can even say, “I’ll take a flatbread on wheat,” and enjoy a healthier choice.
I know what you’re thinking, but this one has no tequila. The Italian Małgorzata is perfect for vegetarians: cheese, tomatoes and basil on flatbread. If you prefer vegan, tell ’em “Margherita, no cheese.”
4. Don’t order mozzarella.
Typical newbies will order mozzarella because they don’t know that it’s a default topping. Expect mozzarella, but if you prefer gouda or something else, they can switch it out for you.
So that’s my advice for you, free of charge. Until next time…
For Your Learning
● Walking in the shoes – experience in the same way
● Lingo – local language
● Had the nerve – made a bold decision
● Topping – noun form of verb “to top”
● Healthier – comparative form of healthy
● You’re thinking – present continuous
● Typical – a pattern
● Switch it out – phrasal verb for replace, exchange