Is it true that Fettuccine Alfredo wasn’t even created in Italy?

image source - flickr.com/photos/foodishfetish
image source – flickr.com/photos/foodishfetish

Actually, no.

Believe it or not, Fettuccine Alfredo was first created in Rome in 1914 at a restaurant named…Alfredo. Chef and owner, Alfredo Di Lelio, first made the dish for his pregnant wife who was struggling to keep food down. He later added it to his menu. It was primarily popular with American tourists and quickly found its way to the states.

Outside of Rome, it would be very difficult to find Fettuccine Alfredo in Italy. While it has remained popular among American tourists, residents of Italy generally don’t eat it, with some parts having never even heard of it. This is perhaps why it is generally believed that the dish was created here in the states.

The bad rap it gets from Italians can most certainly be attributed to some of the updated American versions which can include either chicken or shrimp. Adding chicken breast to pasta and mixing seafood and cheese with pasta breaks two of the cardinal rules in Italian cooking.

4 thoughts on “Is it true that Fettuccine Alfredo wasn’t even created in Italy?

  1. HISTORY OF ALFREDO DI LELIO CREATOR IN 1908 OF “FETTUCCINE ALL’ALFREDO”, NOW SERVED BY THE GRANDCHILDREN, ALFREDO E ISA DI LELIO, AT THE RESTAURANT “IL VERO ALFREDO” IN ROME, PIAZZA AUGUSTO IMPERATORE 30

    With reference of your article we have the pleasure to tell you the history of our grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, who is the creator of “fettuccine all’Alfredo” in 1908 in restaurant run by his mother Angelina in Rome, Piazza Rosa (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi).
    Alfredo di Lelio opened the restaurant “Alfredo” in 1914 in Rome, after leaving the restaurant of his mother Angelina. In this local spread the fame, first to Rome and then in the world, of “fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
    In 1943, during the war, Di Lelio sold the restaurant to others outside his family.
    In 1950 Alfredo Di Lelio decided to reopen with his son Armando his restaurant in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 “Il Vero Alfredo” (“Alfredo di Roma”), which is now managed by his nephews Alfredo and Ines, with the famous “gold cutlery” (fork and spoon gold) donated in 1927 by two well-known American actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (in gratitude for the hospitality).
    See also the site of “Il Vero Alfredo” http://www.ilveroalfredo.it, which also contains information on franchising.
    We must clarify that other restaurants “Alfredo” in Rome do not belong to the family tradition of “Il Vero Alfredo” in Rome.
    We inform that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale.
    Best regards Alfredo e Ines Di Lelio

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