Italy Boots Kebabs

The kebab “is being kicked out of Italian cities as it becomes the target of a campaign against ethnic food, backed by the centre-right Government of Silvio Berlusconi,” according to The Times (via Reddit). The ban started in the town of Lucca, and:

Yesterday it spread to Lombardy and its regional capital, Milan, which is also run by the centre Right. The antiimmigrant Northern League party brought in the restrictions “to protect local specialities from the growing popularity of ethnic cuisines”.

Luca Zaia, the Minister of Agriculture and a member of the Northern League from the Veneto region, applauded the authorities in Lucca and Milan for cracking down on nonItalian food. “We stand for tradition and the safeguarding of our culture,” he said…

Asked if he had ever eaten a kebab, Mr Zaia said: “No – and I defy anyone to prove the contrary. I prefer the dishes of my native Veneto. I even refuse to eat pineapple”…

The story goes on to make the silliness yet clearer.

The San Marzano tomato, a staple ingredient of Italian pasta sauces, was a gift from Peru to the Kingdom of Naples in the 18th century. Even spaghetti, it is thought, was brought back from China by Marco Polo, and oranges and lemons came from the Arab world…

Massimo Di Grazia, the [Lucca] city spokesman, said that the ban was intended to improve the image of the city…

There is confusion… over what is meant by ethnic. Mr Di Grazia said that French restaurants would be allowed. He was unsure, though, about Sicilian cuisine. It is influenced by Arab cooking.

The article really does seem to be from the The Times, rather than from The Onion. It does not mention whether onions are seen as undesirable foreign invaders.

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