There is one word that is worldwide known, and that is a kind of motto for the Italian expats and it's MANGIA.
MANGIA (Eat) is Italian Mothers' and Grandmothers' favorite word.
That you are eating like a little bird, or like a hoover, it doesn't matter. When you sit at an Italian table, you will hear this word at least one time (if you're lucky).
Many think it's just because our mothers love us, or because they always see us like a child in need to grow up, or because of our sense of hospitality.
Truth is this behavior has a different origin. Truth is Italy experiences 2 World War and not sending our troupes fighting in some alien country. The war was here, bombs were falling on the Italians heads and we can still remember our grandparents telling us about the period they had to stay in line for a portion of bread.
Truth is our grandparents knew what hunger is. And this is why we have this idea that, when food is on the table, you have to eat as much as possible. Because you never know how long it will last.
But it's not always that easy. After so many years we are still fighting with our mothers. MANGIA is our nightmare, even if we are 40.
And MANGIA will be your nightmare if you will visit an Italian.
And it can even be embarrassing, because when you refuse, maybe after having a triple portion of pasta, your host will stare at you asking "Non ti è piaciuto"? ( You didn't like it?), with such a sad face that could move a stone.
Don't surrender, or you will start eating again until you won't be able to move.
Just make a big smile, say it was DELIZIOSO (delicious) and every adjective you can think about, but it was too much food. Don't think it will be over so simply, probably this scene will last some minutes, even because this is the time your host's ego will be satisfied thanks to your compliments (she or he will try to convince you in any possible way, trying to make you feel guilty as you have offend all the family...but it's just a trick).
At one point your host will give it up and you will feel so relieved.
Yes. Until you will hear "É l'ora del dolce!" (It's the dessert time").
And don't think you can refuse it, forget it. This would definitely be too much for the Italian pride. Another course, another fight. But if you will survive to this too, you'll win.
After that you'll just have the CAFFE' and the AMMAZZACAFFE' (the after dinner drink).
And you will be able to roll home.
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