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Tuscan Town Accused of ‘Culinary Racism’

Note from Nikki: This brief report below makes the concept of culinary heritage preservation seem extreme. At this point in time, it needs to be extreme in many regions of the world. More comments to follow.

Tuscan Town Accused of ‘Culinary Racism’ for 'Ethnic' Food Ban
By Flavia Krause-Jackson

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- The Tuscan town of Lucca is being accused of “culinary racism” after banishing from its historic center restaurants that serve different “ethnic” foods.

Lucca’s municipal council ruled yesterday 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 architects of the ban say it applies to fast-food outlets, which includes not just kebab stalls, but also takeaway pizza stands, and the aim is to highlight the local cuisine that boasts dishes based on beans, rabbit and salt cod. A spokeswoman confirmed the new rule -- an update to a 2000 ordinance -- and said it applies only to the area within the town’s fortified medieval walls inhabited by 8,000 residents.

Still, the direct reference to “ethnicity” adds an “occult” aspect to the rulings, Paolo Cocchi, the regional councilor for Culture, Tourism and Trade, told Ansa news agency.

Founded in pre-Roman times, Lucca is located 30 kilometers (19 miles) north of Pisa and has a population of about 90,000. It peaked during the Renaissance, when it rivaled Florence, and was conquered by Napoleon in 1805.

To contact the reporter on this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson in Rome This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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