Lucca Wants to Protect Its Culinary Tradition
The town of Lucca, Italy is being accused of “culinary racism” for denying licenses to new non-Italian restaurants. Presumably, the foreign restaurants now operating will be allowed to stay. Lucca located just north of Pisa is trying to protect its rich culinary tradition.
Lucca’s municipal council ruled that “with a view to safeguarding culinary traditions and the authenticity of structure, architecture, culture and history, establishments whose activities can be tracked to different ethnicities won’t be allowed to operate.” The Tuscan regional government has warned against “gastronomic or culinary racism”.
The ban applies to fast food outlets and food stalls whether they sell kebabs or pizza.
This means no new Middle Eastern restaurants or Chinese take-out and hopefully no new McDonalds. The ban is only on restaurants located within the old walls. Lucca has one of the largest McDonald’s that I have ever seen (it is outside the town walls) so there is no need for another one located anywhere near Lucca.
The town council is urging restaurants to include at least one traditional item on their menu which could be interesting. Tortellini Kebabs anyone?
Lucca is considered by many to have the best food in Tuscany.
Traditional foods include dishes made with beans including a rich soup, lamb, rabbit, salt cod and tortellini covered with a rich sauce. For all the articles I have read about this I have not seen anything that tells us what the residents of Lucca think about the ban.
It is the reference to “ethnicities” that caused media outlets like Time magazine and Bloomberg to pick up the story. There has been a lot of discussion in blogs that the ban is meant to keep out McDonalds and KFC which leads me to wonder what ethnicity they are supposed to represent?
As to what I think, if the ban is meant to keep out fast food restaurants I am all for it. Lucca is a beautiful medieval town and golden arches don’t belong there.