Italian Cuisine

on Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Italian cuisine is one of the most famous, if not THE most famous cuisine in the world. Right up there with Chinese cuisine. But does this mean that here in Italy a person does not have the choice to eat dishes other than Italian?

Well, evidently authorities in Milan and Lucca are wanting to crack down on ethnic restaurants. The ethnic restaurants that are allowed to have their doors open, according th Luca Zaia, the Minister of Agriculture and also member of the political party the Northern Legauge (Lega Nord in Italian), should only use Italian ingredients according to an article in The Times Online.

Italian cuisine is not a "unified cuisine" like some may think. What you may eat at the Olive Garden is just Americanized Italian Cuisine. When in actuality the cuisine is broken down regionally, even provincially or even down to a city level. So a typical dish in Milan, like risotto for example, will be totally different compared to a typical dish from Naples.

Another thing, some things that were thought to be Italian were actually imported. For example the San Marzano tomato, the main ingridient of Italian pasta sauces, was actually imported from Peru to the Kingdom of Naples back in the 18th century. It is rumored that Marco Polo brought spaghetti to Italy from China.

What could cause Lega Nord to try such a thing? Maybe it is because Lega Nord has voiced concerns about crime and immigration. Maybe it is because of the ever increasing numbers of kebab restaurants popping up around the country along with other ethnic restaurants opening up shop. Milan has seen a 30% increase of ethnic restaurants in one year alone.

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21 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is utterly ridiculous! Mr. Zaia of the Lega Nord won't even eat pineapple? I would laugh if these weren't serious politicians with popular backing. As someone in that Times article said 'gastronomic racism'

Emm said...

Gosh, can you imagine limiting what people eat? That is crazy!! Obviously people want to eat kebabs and other foods - what next, mind control??

Da Old Man said...

Pasta was found in Etruscan ruins. Marco Polo bringing pasta to Italy is just a nice story.

Expat Traveler said...

very interesting... lol I can imagine limiting how much people eat.. I think they wanted to try it somewhere in the states...

Ann said...

Isn't this insane?!?! Emm, agree. There's a kebab place not too far from us, always packed at lunch and dinner time. So OBVIOUSLY Italians are diggin' it. It's a cheap, filling and quick meal. As far as mind control, in all honesty wouldn't surprise me.

Da Old Man, did not know that, thank you for the information, seriously!

Expat Traveler, agree. Also the sheer number of fast food joints in the States. One cannot go one or two blocks without coming across at least two or three. Then there are the HUGE portions.

Chandira said...

Wow, that's shocking.. And completely ridiculous!! Worse, that's going back to their fascist past!!

Sirona Jewelry™ said...

I can believe it. :) The Italian mind can be quite closed to anything not Italian, especially where food is concerned.

Regional cooking, like dialect makes for "interesting" discussions among Italians about which regional foods are the "best."

Michelle said...

Spaghetti will always be Italian in my book, even if it's from China! :)

Ann said...

Sirona Jewelry is absolutely correct. Italians are VERY protective/proud of their cuisine. This is one thing, no matter if the person is from Palermo or Milan, that the Italians share is their pride for their cuisine. I have been asked I don't know how many times "You DO like Italian cuisine, don't you?" or "Of course you DO cook Italian for your husband, don't you?" My pre-recorded response is of course I do, but also enjoy and cook other things as well like Mexican, American, a bit of Greek and French also. We are a multi-cultural family so therefor we have an "international kitchen".

Martin in Bulgaria said...

Being forced to to eat certain diets? Totally ridiculous. But then supermarkets have been doing that for decades!! Think again.

isabella mori said...

that's crazy! will you keep us up to date as to the developments?

Ann said...

Martin - Agree totally. If other countries decided to "boycott" the Italian restaurants abroad, of course that'd cause a fuss here also. Can't win for loosing

Isabella - of course ma'am.

Emm said...

Ha! I would leave any country that banned Italian restaurants. I can't live without pizzas or pasta!!

Speedcat Hollydale said...

Spaghetti from China?? ... say it isn't so!!

FLO said...

droping by to say....Cheerz...:)

Ivanhoe said...

That is a surprise to me. Why would anybody want to limit that?
I'll be in Rome (& Naples & Livorno & Messina) in October and they better have the "real" cuccinas open ;o)

bolsa de trabajo said...

nice.

Ann said...

Ivanhoe, if you're going to be visiting, if you have the opportunity, go to an agriturismo. They are found usually in rural areas, not in the city proper. There you can really experience an authentic Italian meal. It's best to make a reservation beforehand as they tend to be booked full, especially on the weekends. Also allow 3-4 hours to enjoy the meal. Check out the following link, has listings of places throughout Italy
http://en.agriturismo.it/

Guy from Palermo said...

An interesting point of view - but I do suppose that people should eat less to feel fit and healthy.

SEO Fighter said...

thanks

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