Food allergies can be tricky because different ingredients are commonly used in different countries such as hazelnuts and almonds in Italy. You need to be particularly careful because your waiter may not know exactly what is in the meal you are ordering.
I always suggest writing your allergy on an index card in both English and Italian; make several copies in case you lose one. Be sure to have a native speaker verify that you have written everything correctly. And don’t forget your EpiPen and Benadryl when you travel.
Here are some common food allergies and their Italian translations.
I am allergic to peanuts:
Sono allergico ai noccioline americane
I am allergic to hazelnuts:
Sono allergico ai nocciole
I am allergic to almonds:
Sono allergico ai mandorle
I am allergic to nuts:
Sono allergico ai noci
Hazelnuts and almonds commonly use in Italian cooking in everything from pasta to coffee so you will need to be particularly careful with these allergies.
I am allergic to seafood:
Sono allergico ai frutti di mare (generic)
I am allergic to shrimp:
Sono allergico ai gamberetti
I am allergic to prawns:
Sono allergico ai gamberi
I am allergic to clams:
Sono allergico ai vongole
I am allergic to mussels:
Sono allergico ai cozze
And if it happens that you need help….most doctors, hospital medical personnel and pharmacists have some knowledge of the English language.
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