Mentre nel cuore d’Europa si riconosce con leggerezza l’indipendenza del Kossovo senza troppo preoccuparsi delle implicazioni diplomatiche, Italia e Francia portano all’attenzione delle istituzioni dell’Onu argomenti come questo che danno la misura della deriva del Vecchio Continente:
France has long been proud of its gastronomic heritage but a bid to put its cuisine on the United Nations world heritage list has sparked a transalpine war over whether its food is better than Italys.
Italian farmers reacted angrily to a proposal this weekend from French President Nicolas Sarkozy that France should become the first country to have its cuisine recognised by Unesco as an intangible cultural treasure.
Italy can respond to their foie gras, armagnac, soupe a loignon and escargots with dishes that conquered the world and are much appreciated by the French themselves, like pasta and pizza, the Italian farmers association Coldiretti told Reuters. With 166 food specialities recognised by the European Union, Italy clearly beats France, in second place with 156.
The Italian boast is likely to spark a strong reaction in France where, in spite of many areas of self-doubt, the sense of superiority in culinary matters remains strong. On Sunday the hotel and restaurateurs union said the 80m tourists who visited France last year had been drawn in part by the countrys culinary wealth.
Mr Sarkozy made his proposal on his first presidential visit to Pariss agricultural show, where thousands of city dwellers mingle with prize bulls and sample the best of French produce.
The president, not known for his gourmet tastes, said France had the best food in the world. Yet in the years leading up to his campaign for the presidency, Mr Sarkozy was sometimes cited as preferring a pizza in front of a televised football match, to the Sunday lunch so beloved of the French.
Mr Sarkozys visit came as his popularity ratings took another sharp tumble, while his prime minister continues to rise in the ratings. According to the Sunday paper Journal du Dimanche, the presidents popularity has fallen nine points since January to an unprecedented 38 per cent.