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.