Do You Want Fries With That?

I was reading the Guardian on-line yesterday, and one article began “If ever there was a sign of the moral bankruptcy of Silvio Berlusconi’s government…”

So what have Silvio and Co. done this time? Sex with schoolgirls? (Again.) Mafia commerce? (Again.) Making laws to protect themselves from prosecution? (Again.) No, it’s worse than that. They’ve betrayed Italian food by actively supporting McDonald’s latest campaign.

Italy only has 290 of the establishments which McDonald’s persist in calling “restaurants”, compared with the UK’s 1,115 so they must see scope for expansion, even though the fast food concept contradicts the image of Italian cuisine. In fact, it was the opening of the Spanish Steps branch of McDonald’s which prompted Carlo Petrini and friends to found the Slow Food movement in 1989, now an international affair.

In that very branch, agriculture minister Luca Zaia donned a McDonald’s “McItaly” apron and served up an unidentified grey-brown substance on a bun, asking “Vuoi le patatine?”



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