The mayor of Bologna is on a passionate crusade against spaghetti bolognese, condemning it as ‘fake news’.
Despite it being famous the world over, Virginio Merola wants his northern Italian city to wash its hands of the dish.
He said it ‘doesn’t exist’ and went as far as to call the pasta dish ‘fake news’.
‘Spaghetti bolognese doesn’t actually exist, yet it’s famous the world over,’ Bologna mayor Virginio Merola told Italian radio broadcaster RAI.
‘What we’d prefer the world to know is that Bologna invented tagliatelle, tortellini and lasagne.’
The 64-year-old bespectacled democrat is leading his campaign on social media where he is calling out for images from fellow Italians disgruntled by the apparently mythical dish.
‘Dear residents, I am collecting photos of spaghetti Bolognese from around the world (speaking of fake news),’ he tweeted last month.
‘This one is from London, please send me yours,’ added, along with a photo of a restaurant chalkboard advertising the ‘specialty of the house,’ spaghetti bolognese.
His outcry has received many replies that would incense Italians. Not least a Danish squeezable pasta sauce.
The mayor said that he will use the images in an exhibition in the FICO Eataly World, the largest food theme park in the world.
He told The Telegraph: ‘It is strange to be famous all over the world for a dish that isn’t ours.
‘Of course we are happy that it draws attention to our city, but we would prefer to be known for the quality food that is part of our culinary tradition.’