White, red, and green all over: Obama to eat patriotic pasta at G8

Lately, there’s been so much chatter in the blogosphere about the Obamas’s culinary fondness for Blue Hill in NYC and Five Guys in D.C. that I thought I do a post on a story that’s making waves today in the Italian blogosphere on what Obama will be eating at the G8 Summit in July.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi recently changed the location of the summit to L’Aquila in Abruzzo to raise awareness of the tragedy of the April earthquake there.

According to a report widely circulated today, Berlusconi’s personal chef Michele Persechini will serve a “triptych” of pennette: al pomodoro, al pesto, and ai quattro formaggi — red, green, and white, as in the colors of the Italian flag (no translation necessary here, I imagine).

Above: That’s where Obama will be staying in L’Aquila. “It’s barracks for Obama,” reported the Guardian a few weeks ago, noting that some world leaders may be disappointed about the venue change. You gotta love the Brits’s sense of humor!

In Carlo Verdone’s 1981 film Bianco, Rosso, e Verdone (produced by Sergio Leone), Verdone plays three Italians who each make road trips to their places of birth so that they can vote. (That’s the Roman character, Mimmo, in the image above, left.)

My favorite is the Italian immigrant Pasquale who’s lived in Germany so long that he’s become Teutonified but hasn’t lost his Italian identity. He doesn’t speak for the entire film, except for in the very last sequence when he finally votes and “vents.” You don’t need to understand Italian to watch the clip below: Pasquale’s monologue is nearly unintelligible even for Italian speakers. It is a hilarious but true portrayal of Italian voters’s frustration with their country’s politics and its politicians.

The score is by Ennio Morricone: I love the music in this sequence, its references to the Italian national anthem and the line played by the mandolin.