McDonalds is going global italian style.
McDonald’s launches McItaly line
To most there is nothing more American than McDonald's but due to globalization this is rapidly changing. Italy has indeed seen the introduction of the ‘McItaly’ line.
The ‘McItaly’ line features two new sandwiches and a salad made with all-Italian products – from the artichoke spread (Italian sandwich culture calls for delicious spreads, such as olive tapenade, sun dried tomatoes pesto and vegetable creams), to the Asiago cheese, the locally grown lettuce, the fresh meat and even the bread of the first sandwich to the onion and smoked pancetta of the second one. The salad features other Italian culinary staples from bresaola and parmigiano cheese.
McDonald’s latest effort to “go Italian” was recently presented by the country's Minister of Agriculture, Luca Zaia and the head of McDonald’s Italia, Roberto Masi. “This sandwich has great ambitions,” Zaia said, as he was preparing a burger for the press. Zaia stressed on the fact that the production of the new sandwiches will use 1,000 tons of Italian agricultural products a month, for a value of millions of euros. Hopes are that these new specialties will re-introduce Italian flavors to the huge numbers of young people -- 50% of the under 30 crowd-- who go to McDonalds in Italy.“We want to give an imprint of Italian flavors to our youngsters,” he added.
The McItaly burgers, wrapped in paper that represents the Italian flag, will be on sale in Italy only for a couple of months as an experiment and if the initial run is successful (they hope to sell at least 3.5 million of the Italian burgers) McDonalds will consider selling them outside of Italy. Zaia wants the new sandwiches to go global, and the Italian agricultural products with them. This experiment has received mixed responses and the first to complain were Italian farmers who accused the Minister to deal with the “enemy” (McDonald’s has long been seen in Europe as a negative influence on local produce and cuisine).
“The McItaly is the latest weapon in McDonald's push to standardize global tastes,” Carlo Petrini of Slow Food declared, “a plan that will only bleed local cuisine of its flavor. But the real insult is claiming this will help local farmers, when it's really just forcing them to sacrifice tradition and their own profits for McDonald's bottom line.”
Zaia's response was clear, “thousands of European youngsters chow down at McDonald’s daily, why not give them a healthier, better quality burger that supports local Italian agriculture? Let elite foodies dine on organics in 5-star restaurants — the McItaly brings local produce to the cash-strapped masses.”
Everybody has a different opinion but the strongest point is one: Italy's culinary pleasure lies in diversity, not homogeneity.