The blood of Italy’s agriculture and food minister Maurizio Martino is said be boiling over a new EU regulation ordering Italy to cut the length of its ‘dangerous’ spaghetti.
Italy’s spaghetti is too long states EU Regulation 04/2016 which goes on to say that the length of Italy’s iconic pasta means it is unsafe.
Apparently the European Commission has received numerous claims over the years from those who’ve burnt their fingers attempting to place traditional length Italian spaghetti in boiling water. This year it has decided to act.
Currently spaghetti sold in Italy is around 25.5 centimeters in length – around 10 inches – while some is much longer, and, states the EU, much more hazardous.
From the 1st June 2016, all spaghetti produced and sold in Italy must be no longer than 14cm (5.5 inches). The new rule also applies to Italy’s spaghetti exports.
Spaghetti Makers to Face Hefty Fines
Pasta producers in Italy who fail to comply with the EU regulation will face hefty fines of up to €10,000 per batch of overly long pasta. Pasta production throughout Italy is to be monitored by a team of especially trained German inspectors.
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A spokesperson for Italian pasta maker De Cecco labelled the new regulation as ridiculous and stated that his company was hoping that the UK would vote to leave Europe in the upcoming Brexit referendum so production of normal length spaghetti could be moved there. The production of other pastas would remain in Italy, the spokesman added.
Italian pasta giant Barilla has already found an ingeniously simple solution. To get round the new EU rule – it is to fold all future spaghetti. Barilla, however, is not overly happy with the change and, head of pasta production Giacomo Bollito stated that the cost of adapting machinery to fold pasta will be considerable. Barilla says it is considering seeking an EU grant to cover the cost of adapting its pasta making machines to the new EU regulation.
Rome Protest Arranged
Italy’s Slow Food movement is most displeased by the EU move and is to organise a ‘Hands off Our Pasta’ march in Rome.
Milan housewife Maria Besciamella welcomed the move stating that she hated preparing spaghetti because she was always burning her fingers. One five occasions she had had to go to hospital to treat her scalded hands.
Other Italians, on the other hand, are not at all happy with the new EU regulation. One, Franco Torre of Bologna, commented that Spaghetti Bolognese simply would not taste the same.
What do you think? Has the EU gone too far? Or have you ever burnt your fingers adding this long Italian pasta to boiling water?
You can read an English version of the EU’s press release on the new regulation here.