Sunday, February 17, 2013

Food and Politics

Unless you're at a political fundraiser, the two don't mix very well.

On Friday (February 15th), the Financial Times ran an article by Brian Viner on a cooking class in Palermo, which mentions in passing that the Italian host and hostess twice (and perhaps more than twice) made openly derogatory comments about Americans, referring to the Second World War. By association, the comments also apply to the British, Canadians and Australians - all of whom have troops buried on Italian soil.

Our staff has met writers for the Financial Times - though not Mr Viner - and we wish to make clear that the individuals offering the cookery course mentioned in the article are not associated in any way with Best of Sicily or the fine firms advertised on our site. Some cooking courses are described in my article on learning to cook in Sicily.

For the record (not that it is in any way relevant to Sicilian cuisine!), the war referred to was not initiated by the British or the Americans (several histories are available on our books page), and we find it extremely unfortunate that somebody offering a service to visitors from those countries would insist on insulting her paying guests by dredging up events from 1943 - 70 years ago! Wars are part of history, but anybody offering travel services who wants to focus on that kind of thing should consider a career in some other field.

The hosts and chefs offering the cookery classes listed in my article do not engage in provocative rhetoric, nor do most Italians who work in the travel and tourism industry attempt to insult visitors.

No comments: