Special Report

10 Italian Dishes That Aren’t Really Italian

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Caesar salad

This classic appears on Italian restaurants all over the world, but it was invented by an Italian chef in Tijuana, Mexico, probably in 1924.

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Chicken parm

This popular dish, often served in sandwich form, originated with Italian-American immigrants in the northeastern U.S., probably in the 1950s.

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Chicken Tetrazzini

Something of a fad dish around the country in the 1950s and ’60s, this concoction of diced chicken in cream sauce (sometimes canned cream of mushroom soup) over pasta was created by the chef mat San Francisco’s Palace Hotel around 1910 in honor of the Italian soprano Luisa Tetrazzini.

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Much of San Francisco’s Italian community came from Liguria, where a puréed fish soup called ciuppin is made. They borrowed the name when they started making this stew full of varied seafood around Fisherman’s Wharf in the late 1800s.

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Lobster Fra Diavolo

We know this dish — lobster in a spicy sauce over spaghetti — isn’t originally Italian for two reasons: It’s made with Maine lobster, not the Mediterranean variety found in Italy, and Italians don’t eat pasta as a main course.

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