Italy Says Ciao to Pasta for a Day

Consumers angry about rising prices call for boycott
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 2:56 AM CDT
Asta Lieng and her husband Svein from Norway enjoy a plate of fettuccine at a restaurant in downtown Rome, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007. Be it fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti, Italians will soon be paying...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mama mia! Italians fed up with rising pasta prices will do the unthinkable today—ditch their beloved starches for a day. Consumers are being urged to boycott the nation's signature dish for a day because prices have risen 20 percent in recent months. Pasta makers say they're at the mercy of rising wheat prices and predict the action will have little impact.

"To say not to eat pasta would be a call to arms," said one manufacturer. "It's the least expensive dish there is." Even though pasta does remain fairly cheap in Italy—a typical portion costs 23 cents—consumer groups worry that those on fixed incomes will be forced to cut back.