I just came across the most interesting Italian food related news! McDonald's is partnering with Barilla to serve PASTA in it's Italy locations, according to NBC News.
Italian and American representatives from McDonalds state that the new menu item is an attempt to "respond to tastes of the Italians," and that the fast food giant has previously succeeded in different "flavor profiles." They are also doing an al fresco pasta dish rather than a traditional warm pasta.
From my experience living in Rome, Italians don't go to McDonald's, Americans and other tourists do. They might stop in and get an espresso on the way to work, but that's it.
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One of my professors told us that when they were building the location near Piazza di Spagna, the local government protested due to fear that fast food smell would ruin the local atmosphere. As a result the Mickey D's on Via dei due Macelli has a McCafe at the front of the store and traditional fast food in the back. Interestingly, NBC News also reports that the Italians started the "slow food movement" when McDonald's entered the country in the 1980s.
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I am so excited to continue to follow this story and see how popular McDonald's pasta is in the place that made the dish a culinary experience.