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.

High Noon in Montalcino

Italians love westerns. At least, they used to. In the 1960s and 70s, the Italian film industry produced some of the wild west’s most enduring iconography.

A showdown of epic proportions is beginning to take shape in Montalcino, as the Brunello producers association braces for an October 27 “once-and-for-all” vote on whether or not appellation regulations will be changed to allow for the use of grapes other than Sangiovese. See this report that Franco and I published today at VinoWire.

The stakes got higher yesterday when 149 producers signed off on an open letter to separatist agricultural minister Luca Zaia and supporter of “more elastic” regulations informing him that they don’t want to change current legislation. My friend Alessandro Bindocci broke news of the letter over at his blog Montalcino Report.

Zaia recently began blogging, but before you add his feed to your Google reader, be sure to read this post by Italian Wine Guy.

Me? I’m glued to my seat and my keyboard. Stay tuned for high drama from Montalcino…