When I first arrived in Italy, I was excited to try the local hot chocolate. But, I quickly learned that a “hot chocolate” in Italy is quite different from what I was used to. Instead of a regular cup of chocolate-flavored drink, I was presented with a small cup of thick, rich chocolate called “Cioccalata.” This treat is made with real chocolate, and is usually about half-full in the cup. It costs more than a cappuccino or espresso, and is usually served with milk, though some restaurants may charge extra for it.
I found that drinking Cioccalata on its own can be overwhelming, as it’s very thick and rich, and it can leave you feeling thirsty. I knew that some people add water to make it more drinkable, and I thought that was a brilliant idea.
Yesterday, during lunch with my classmates, I was craving a “hot chocolate” but wasn’t feeling up to drinking Cioccalata by itself. So, I decided to pour water into my Cioccalata cup. However, half of my classmates are Italians, and they didn’t understand what I was doing. The minute I started pouring water into my cup, they gasped in shock and horror. I realized then that I had made a huge mistake – mixing water with Cioccalata is considered disrespectful and a big faux pas in Italy. I felt embarrassed and ashamed of myself.
I hope that by sharing my mistake, others can learn from it and avoid making the same mistake when visiting Italy. Remember, never mix water with your Cioccalata and never ever do it in front of Italians.