In America it has basically turned into something cheap which the customer can still appreciate. Customer's think of it as a free appetizer while the restaurant paid less than 35c per table for it. It reduces the complaint of "dagummit Ennis, this place has small portions!" It typically doesn't reduce how much the table orders because patrons order while still hungry, or even before the bread arrives in many cases. And you know how Murricans love to take shit home in a bag because "dagummit we are so full rot now!" As for whether it is served in Europe, I honestly don't remember if it was brought out in restaurants I went to in Germany, France and England. I didn't go to any michelin type places though.
As far as I know, I cannot say that many Italians eat potatoes.
Ever heard of gnocchi? (Side note: I've yet to meet an American who pronounces this correctly.) EDIT: late.
Originally Posted by globetrotter
I think that my distributor at the time was a peasant from sicaly, and he taught me bad manners. but I still love soping up sauces with bread.
My entire family does it and they're all native Italians dell'Abruzzo. As for pane e coperto: it's just marked in Italy like gratuity is sometimes here. Italians generally don't give la mancia at most places so there's extra charges.
It seems like this is expected and never questioned.
In certain cases I can see the reason,
Central/South Asian cuisine- Unless you're eating rice, that is what the food is eaten with; unlike western cuisine, in these cuisines its used 'to scoop it up', not accompany.
Italian cuisine - If you don't have a 'primi' then the meal can lack carbs and not be filling.
As far as French/British/American/Spanish/German/Fusion/Haute/whatever cuisine goes, I really cannot understand the concept of bread...