Italian Cities Ban Foreign Food
Laws against new ethnic eateries prompts charges of gastronomic xenophobia
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2009 4:03 AM CST
Critics of the campaign against foreign food point out that Italian staples like pasta and tomatoes were originally foreign imports.   (©stevendepolo)
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(Newser) – Kebabs, Chinese food, and curries are the targets of a growing Italian campaign against foreign food, the Times of London reports. The Tuscan town of Lucca has slapped a ban on new foreign eateries opening in the city, and Milan has now followed suit. Government-backed campaigners say they are fighting to protect Italian food from the increasingly popular ethnic competition.

Critics say the campaign is discriminatory and amounts to culinary ethnic cleansing. "There is no dish on Earth that does not come from mixing techniques, products and tastes from cultures that have met and mingled over time," said one celebrity chef, noting that Italian cuisine wouldn't feature pasta or tomatoes if it hadn't adopted foreign foods from China and Peru.