Italy's right-wing Lega Nord party, which pursues a limited immigration policy, has now turned its sights to the cuisines of Italy's ethnic minorities, according to reporting by Benedetta Grasso on i-Italy.org.
Under the slogan "Si alla polenta, no al cous cous" ("Yes to polenta, no to cous cous"), Luca Zaia, Minister of Agriculture, promoted restrictions on the cuisines of other ethnicities, saying that in Italy there is "the need to protect local specialities from the growing popularity of ethnic cuisine."
In Trieste, the town's mayor (also a member of Lega Nord) ordered every ethnic restaurant in the city to serve traditional Italian dishes or face closure, reports Grasso. In Lucca, the only food allowed is Tuscan and restaurants where it will be served must respect Italy's architectural and historical traditions -- meaning they are not permitted any kind of ethnic display, Grasso notes. Meanwhile, in Treviso, the Moroccan community was forbidden to organize a street fair as part of an effort to create the largest cous cous plate in the world and win the Guinness World Record.
Proponents say these moves preserve local cuisine. Opponents say not-so-subtle racism is at work. What's your take?
Click here to read Grasso's full article on i-Italy.org.