Friday 5 June 2015

When Italy and Canada Collide

My husband moved from Italy to Canada to be with me 6 years ago. During this time we have had to learn to adjust to each others differences. As he lay beside me tonight my mind began to wander about how different our cultures are. Since he came here six years ago he has taken me to Italy 3 times. We sure live different all right. I love it though, being with him has sure been an adventure. Here are some of the things I find amusing or interesting about him, me, Canada and Italy.

  • Italians do not take off their shoes in their house. The first time he came here it was December and tons of snow here in Canada. He tromped right into my place with his big boots and I thought.... What is this person doing??? Take off your shoes!! We laugh about it now
  • Italians warm up their milk in the morning for breakfast. Canadians do not. 
  • While peanut butter stocks our shelves here in Canada, it is nowhere to be seen in Italy. I watched my husband try peanut butter for the first time in his life. I gave him a spoon and he dug in. I smile at the thought :) Each time we have traveled back to Italy, peanut butter was in our suitcase for friends and family.
  • They do not eat the same breakfast items as us in Italy. The first time I told him I was eating an Egg Mcmuffin from McDonalds for breakfast via msn (ya were a little dated here) he told me SICK!! Egg meat and cheese on a bun for breakfast? When I went to Italy you ate dry cookies and put them in milk..... yup, thats it. I learned to love it actually. 
  • Chef Boyardee, Kraft Dinner, Alphaghetti are something Italians just dont know about and truth be told it was funny for him to see it for the first time. He was completely repulsed. He will not eat any of it! I for one love Aphaghetti
  • Going to a restaurant in Italy you do not get refills of your drinks. Anywhere!
  • You do not get a glass of tap water when you go to a restaurant in Italy. They have bottles of regular water and sparkling water on the tables. You pay for your water. 
  • You do not get butter with your bread in Italy. Sad but true, I am sure you can ask for it, but as for it coming with it, no sir. Nor do you get olive oil and vinegar. I think it is something we made up here and pretended was Italian.... Cause its not.
  • They pronounce words phonetically. Things like USA they would say oooza. UFO - ooofo  R.E.M - rrrrrem I laughed alot at this when we first met. 
  • Pizza here is an embarrassment to Pizza in Italy. What are we thinking North America? I mean really?
  • Coffee as we know it doesnt exist in Italy. Yes.... seriously. Either learn to drink an Americano or an Espresso and learn quick coffee drinkers
  • All shops close from 12-4pm in Italy. ALL...... so if you have jet lag and you like to sleep the day away, there goes your shopping time. 
  • Dinner time is soooo differnt in Canada and Italy. Here in Canada it is normal to eat at 5:30-6pm. They start preparing or thinking about dinner at 8:30pm. I was dying of hunger. 
  • Their milk is not in the refrigerated part of the grocery store. It sits on the shelves in square juice box containers. 
  • Italians drive crazy!!! We went to Naples and this is how they drive

  • We here in Canada hug people when we see them. Italy, they go in for a kiss kiss on the cheek. Me..... NO CLUE, so what do I do...hug. AWKWARD... You learn quickly
  • Italians are LOUD!!!!! Many many times I thought they were arguing. Nope... typical conversation
  • They really do talk with their hands. My husband was knocking stuff off the table the first time I met him. I remember thinking, what is this guy doing lol
  • Italians like to sit at a restaurant and bask in the company. Canadians, meal is done, pack up, were outta here. My husband struggles with this one to this day, like..... Cant we sit for a bit. Me.... sit for what?? lol

Now, there are many many differences. But these were my top ones. This one, this one is the best one. 
  • The pasta sauce. My god the pasta sauce. We are doing it WRONG!!! This is how to make pasta sauce people. Try it, you will thank me!!!!


1/2lb of beef
1/2lb of pork
1 carrot
1 onion
1 celery 
1Tsp garlic
Olive oil
Beef bouillon pkg
1 bottle of Passata *use half only
(tomato sauce found in Italian store)

Mince carrot onion and celery. Put in pan with oil and sauté. Add garlic. Mix in meat and than tomato sauce. Add bouillon and mix all together. Top with water and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and simmer with the lid on for 2 hours. After the 2 hours take the lid off and simmer for another 30 min uncovered.

If you make the ragu, you absolutely must try this 


Non pre cook noodles 
I used non pre cook noodles. I didn't mean to buy them however it is what I bought :)
Parmesan cheese

Grease your pan. I used a 9x13. Take the béchamel and spoon a ladle full on the bottom. Spread your ragu to cover. I used approx another ladle full. Add a layer of noodles. *add a ladle of béchamel and than another of ragu amd sprinkle with Parmesan. Repeat this step* until you reach 5 layers. According to the box is should say how long to cook. Mine was 20 min at 425'. 

Have you read my last post? Click here


  1. Oh my word the driving! It's crazy European driving for sure!

    1. Isnt it? I was in awe standing watching it.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting


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