Spaghetti bolognese: fact or fake?
In a recent edition of Euronews, the mayor of Bologna claimed that spaghetti bolognese is “fake news.”
What’s all this about?
According to the article, Virginio Merola, Mayor of the Italian city of Bologna, took to Twitter to deny the existence of the classic dish, traditionally comprised of meat sauce made with milk and wine and served with spaghetti. The mayor even tweeted a request for people to send him pictures of the so-called famous pasta dish.
Bologna has long had a strong food culture. It is a city proud of its tortellini and mortadella, balsamic vinegar, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Many residents of Bologna think travelers should request these delicacies rather than what they call “spag bol.” In fact, visitors who ask for it might well encounter a blank look from the locals.
Says Italian food expert Helena Kyriakides, “A lot of tourists who come here do seek out ‘spag bol,’ if you like, although I hate that word. They get tut-tutted at restaurants, tongues clicked, and ‘oh my goodness no, we can’t give you spaghetti bolognese,’ because spaghetti just isn’t a type of pasta that we make in this region.”
Mayor Merola clarified on Twitter. “It is strange to be famous all over the world for a dish that isn’t ours… We would prefer to be known for the quality food that is part of our culinary tradition.”
By the way, if you are in Bologna, consider asking for “ragu,” which in Italian refers to any meat-based sauce. You’ll likely end up with a plate of delicious tagliatelle al ragu, the local wide pasta tossed with fragrant, rich meat-based sauce.
And you—and the mayor—will be happy.
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