Fettuccine Alfredo History

The fettuccine alfredo we currently have and commonly know has not always been as it is now. Serving fettuccine with butter and cheese was first in a 15-century recipe for “Roman pasta”. Mentioned by an Italian cook active in Rome. The recipe said to cook the pasta in water or broth and add butter, “good cheese”, and “sweet spices”. The recipe never said what type of cheese or specific spices. Modern Rome fettuccine alfredo was made in Rome by Alfredo Di Lelio, once brought to different locations the taste changed to make it more popular. Alfredo worked in a restaurant run by his mother, and he invented “fettuccine al triplo burro”, later named “fettuccine all’Alfredo” or “fettuccine Alfredo”.


The whole reason fettuccine alfredo was made was to try to find something that seemed appealing for his wife to eat, this was after she had given birth to their first child Armando in 1908. The way that Alfredo tried to make food seem more appealing to his wife was by adding butter and fresh Parmesan. Alfredo’s wife, Ines, was very weak after having their child and Alfredo wanted her to eat so she would regain strength. She ended up quite liking the dish and suggested he add it to the menu of their small restaurant. Part of his success was brought by Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, two famous actors. They were on their honeymoon in Rome when they tried some of Alfredo’s delicious and original dishes. After they tried it they made and gifted him two gold tableware as a tribute to his friendly and warm welcome. The gift was a fork and spoon made of solid gold engraved to say “To Alfredo the King of the noodles”.


Fettuccine alfredo is not served in Italy with the exception of two restaurants. The name “Alfredo sauce” is barely if at all used in Italy, though there are similar pasta sauces. The two restaurants that still have the original taste are “Alfredo alla Scrofa” and “Il vero Alfredo” (the real Alfredo). The restaurant “Il vero Alfredo” is owned by the family, it was owned by Alfredo, then his son Armando (until 1982), now owned by Armando’s son Alfredo III and his sister Ines De Lenlio. This restaurant is popular for North American tourists who want to taste the original alfredo recipe.


I quite enjoy fettuccine alfredo with some chicken. This is one thing I order at some restaurants. I found it quite interesting how the real fettuccine alfredo is nothing like what is known now by Americans, this is an example of something that was americanized. How it was americanized is that it is a lot more creamy in America and made with different ingredients (in order to make it creamy). Another example of this would be pizza, the pizza served in Italy is nothing like the pizza that many Americans know and love. Even if it was americanized, these two are still a couple of my favorite dishes.


Questions -
Do you think that dishes like fettuccine alfredo and pizza should have been americanized the way they were or should they have stayed the same?
Do you think that if the dish hadn’t changed it would be as popular as it is now?
Are there any dishes that don’t change from place to place like how fettuccine alfredo changed from Italy to America?

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  • Fettuccine alfredo is just one example of the many foods that have been Americanized. I think that it should be fine to change recepies, as we do with most dishes. I don't think that this pasta would be as popular in the U.S. if it wasn't changed.

    • I think that recepies are fine to be changed but credit should be given where credit is due. People shouldn't think that it is from Italy when it is not. There are many dishes I make that I change the recepies but when I do I don't just say I used this recipe. I say I used this but I changed it. I agree that it would not be very popular if at all if never changed.

  • I think it is ok for things to be Americanized. People will do it to all foods. I think if it changed it would have been fine. Everyone has different tastes and people will change things. I think that there are quite a few Indian foods and such that would stay in India, but they will eventually come here. 

    • I think most if not all food in America has been Americanized. I think that if it had not changed it would not be eaten at all now. If it had not changed then it would not be made to fit American's tastes, it would not be as enjoyable for Americans. I think that most foods are everywhere in some for or another. Though there might be some foods that there is nothing even similar in any other place though it seems unlikely. Another thing could be the same food but different name.

  • I don't think there is an issue with "Americanized" food. I don't think dishes being changed is a problem, I enjoy these dishes the way they are now. I don't think that the dishes would be as popular in America if they weren't changed, they still would be good but not the same. 

    • I agree that they are good the way they are. But also what about the people who first created the idea of it and how they get no credit or anything for something that it because of them. I think that it would not be popular at all if it had never been changed. It also might not be considered good if it had never changed. It was changed so that more Americans would like it so if it wasn't changed then it would not be as liked.

  • I think they should have kept the original version, I have never tried the original version but it has to be good, I myself am a big pasta fan so original pasta has got to be so good, I think that the Americanized version is also good so I think both should be kept.

    • If it was good then I think that it would never have been changed. If it was good then it would be sold in more places than just one place in Italy. Just because one person likes it doesn't mean that all Americans would like it. I think that the original should stay in Italy and the Americanized verson should be kept in America. Then tourests who want to try it can travel and try that.

  • I think they should have kept the original version, as well as the Americanized version, I've never tried the original version, but I love the Americanized version. I'm sure if they never changed the dish it would still be popular for some people, but most Americans are used to the new version and better taste so they don't want to change back to the old. I think this happens with a lot of foods from other countries, the original is a lot different from the American version.

    • I agree that there should be both offered in America so that people don't think what we have here is the original. I also love the Americanized versoin. I think that it would be not very popular, I think that most of the popularity is because it was Americanized and if it had never been changed it would not be liked in America. I think most Americans have never even tried the original version and I feel the Italians that own the place that sells that would not like if the original version was sold here.

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