If you know me, you know I am a self appointed Italian and if Italy has taught me anything, it is to enjoy the simple pleasures in life and that nothing is worth skipping a meal. Italy is where I learned I actually wanted to eat pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I wasn’t going to worry about carbs and cheese. Not that I wanted to be unhealthy, but I wasn’t going to deprive myself of the pleasures in life because I’m calorie counting. I want to melt in every bowl and savor every bite. I want to sip good wine and say yes to dessert.
Fare la scarpetta or “make the little shoe,” is an end of meal ritual in Italy. It is an art form and an important part of Italian heritage. It is an Italian phrase which means sopping up the sauce on your plate, typically with bread.
Where the phrase originated is unknown, though it is used commonly in all regions of Italy. Italian expressions are visual. The phrase comes from the fact that a literal shoe drags up what is on the ground, similar to how bread will collect your leftover sauce on your plate. A finger sweeping bread across your plate, like how a leg pushed a foot with a shoe on it, collecting what is under it.
La scarpetta is an essential part of any meal, and in a way, extends the pleasure of that meal even longer.