How Italian is Italian food?
Italian cooking has been making its mark in global taste and trade for many years. But it’s mostly entrepreneurs from other countries who profit
“It is a paradox that Italy is not the leading country, at least in Europe, in catering. You can go all around the world and find Italian restaurants. But most are Italian in name only. The English entrepreneur Luke Johnson, who launched the largest chain of pizzerias in Europe in the 90s, gives us cause for reflection on an asset which has in many ways been undervalued. With some significant exceptions (read Eataly and a few others), the main “Italian” restaurant chains in the world are held by foreign entrepreneurs. Food resources and solutions are not lacking in a country well-known for its traditions and excellence in wine and food as well as for the dynamism of its businessmen. The problems possibly lie elsewhere: difficulty accessing finance, poor investment from overseas, slow internationalisation of business and more besides. Expo Milano 2015 should provide some space for reflection on these issues.