He thinks he’s a food critic but he says “passari u pitittu”: how to recognize him (and avoid him)

A small guide to the typical character that can be found at the table. The behaviors, clarifications and “bad things” you can do at the restaurant

Maybe I’m nostalgic, I admit it, but every now and then the bucolic lunches at my grandmother’s house come to mind when, despite her northern Italian origins, she had learned to make “u furnu” pasta to perfection, even enriching it (something easy), with new variations.

With petit from lapardeo and armed with a fork, I launched multiple and multi-pronged attacks on the portion while my grandfather, talking to me, r’ammucciuni to my parents, diluted a finger of wine in a glass of water and my grandmother, smiling, told me “te prù figgeu ? Pitta la moae, pitta!” (know that you have not just read an excerpt from the Necronomicon, but it is Genoese dialect).

Times that were, when we sat at the table to pistiare and take off the headboardand not to quibble about the menu, the agri-food chain and set up photographic studios to immortalize a crispy cocuzza chips on a bed of rocket purée.

Unfortunately, willy-nilly, all of us have had to deal, even if only by chance, with the do-it-yourself culinary critic, from now on defined for convenience, simply the critic. You see them with that inquiring gaze of theirs that isn’t even a NAS inspector, they observe the mise en place, feel the tablecloth between forefinger and thumb to understand exactly if it is real cotton or synthetic fiber and take the measurements to see if the flat triangle cutlery-glasses has the right proportions.


As soon as you sit down, while you’re already immersed in reading the menu, they try to involve you in their enthusiasm. “but now runners are used!”. You look up from the menu, undecided between the pizza with everything on top and the rigatoni all’ingrasciata with pissed off pork capoliato, and you point out that in reality they have just sat down at the osteria ru zu Tano and that in short, he has already said thanks if there is a table in tuvagghia in capu.

And that in any case, the only time you ever heard of runners was when, to get rid of the mafalda with fried milinciana and caciocavallo cheese and Forst attracted to remove the fat (which you piled up two days before) you went, prey to feelings of guilt and burping like a longshoreman, at the stadium to run and, between a gurgle and a gaspyou had heard two very physical guys talking to each other to whom you had directed all your envy.

In reality, the critic often has the skills in this regard and is truly in search of quality, maximum respect, but you, a man on the sidewalk, often do not have the slightest idea of ​​the subjects he is dealing with. For them, eating out, it is above all an experience that must give you emotions even if you, much more simply, think it is because lagnusia eats your bones and you feel like cooking.

Filed the tablecloth chapter and mise en palce, the gaze falls on the tip of the knife placed on the right. “This knife is dirty…” – Everyone starts looking for this residual dirt, invisible to the eyes of a common mortal.

Against the light, in dim light, an ultraviolet lamp is used, nothing, this spot is not found. Only a university researcher who is there by chance and has an emission microscope with him can find 3 calcium carbonate atoms which, yes, in fact, could alter the taste of the house wine and seriously endanger the consumer’s health.

But the real apocalypse will begin when the waiter, who has now delivered a photo of the critic to the kitchen recommending a “special treatment”, will approach the table to find out if you are ready to order.. “What do you want?” addressed to the critic, “… the menu is long… how do you ensure the quality of all the dishes?”, “Look, there’s a whole brigade of cooks..”, Ah… don’t you have chefs? Only cooks?”.

At that point the waiter’s skin begins to turn frighteningly towards the hulk green color accompanied by a psychopathic Berserk look. “But is the tuma contained in this roulade of black Nebrodi pig raised at a minimum altitude of 1200 meters which feeds exclusively on organic acorns and spring water made from the milk of Sican goats in the Jato valley with three-forked hoof? ”.

If you’re lucky at the time of choose drinks, the critic will tell the waiter that he relies on their sommelier, but if you are not, just when you are about to cheerfully pronounce “a beer atturrata ra bella!!!” he/she will ask for the wine list. While everyone, due to hunger, will be on the third basket of bread and / or bread sticks, she will choose the most expensive bottle from the card attracting everyone’s curses.

He will have the wine poured, he will put the glass against the chandelier wrinkling his nose because he saw two other calcium carbonate atoms that had escaped him before, he will sniff, he will swirl the glass, he will taste, he will gargle, he will click his tongue and at the end with air sufficiency will state that it is not like the (name of tischitoski wine of your choice) but it is acceptable….”.

Here too you admire the expertise and recognize that you wouldn’t be able to tell the house wine from the one made with the powdered kits, but you would like to get to the point all the same. Finally the dishes arrive and the photographic performance begins. Plate sideways to get a better light, napkin in front of the flash so as not to alter the colours, taking off a mini drone from your purse/pocket to pan from above.

At the end of Photo book taste the dish. He immediately understands that the pasta is not platinum drawn as he expected and that, man, did he know that the datterino tomatoes were not that of zone 1 of Pachino. The fillet doesn’t have to be cooked for a long time but is rare without humours but with a little mentioned Maillard reaction, and one feels that the cut has not been performed by accompanying the direction of the fibers of the muscle tissue.

Meanwhile u pitittu is making you acitobut when you look at the plate you notice that the 5 vegan paccheri are placed on the plate, decorated with a sprinkling of ground basil, in a perfect fit that is not even possible when you play Jeenga, accompanied by a molecular mousse of black aubergines married with petals of salted ricotta dried in organic straw baskets, and you think that deep down some restaurants perhaps deserve them from the critics of scafazzati.

He thinks he’s a food critic but he says “passari u pitittu”: how to recognize him (and avoid him)