Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.

Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.

Only In Italy is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news sources in Italy.
Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.
 
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September 2010
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"Fake Italian Food VS. Real Italian Food"

(09/03/10)

 

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"Mah, siamo qua..." Welcome to another issue of pure Sicilian nonsense, "Only In Italy!"   

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"Only In Italy" Staff      


Italian Man Freezes Aunt's Body To Continue Claiming Her Pension

Catania - September 17, 2010 - An Italian man kept the body of his dead great-aunt in a freezer for about a year to keep claiming her pension, police said Wednesday.

The scam was discovered when neighbors phoned police to say they were worried because they hadn't seen the woman for some time.

The man, a 43-year-old computer expert, said he had frozen the body of his 95-year-old great aunt because he "didn't know what to tell his mother", a local newspaper reported.

The man confessed to buying the freezer shortly before she died "so I could decide what to do".

Tests are being carried out to establish exactly how long the body was in the freezer.

Oh, what a "figlio di una mignotta!" and despicable man. He must have fallen out of the family tree and landed on his head. However, we might have to give the lovable Sicilian nephew the benefit of the doubt. We have to otherwise, the story is going to bore you.

"The man confessed to buying the freezer shortly before she died 'so I could decide what to do'." We don't think you have to be Sicilian like us to understand that something here is not kosher. If a 95-year old relative complains of chest pain and has difficulty breathing, you could call a doctor, an ambulance...or go buy a large household appliance while you're 'deciding what to do'.

The only possible explanation we have is he must have been severely abused for 43 years by this little Sicilian woman:

"Imbecile, put on something warm."

"No no! What your mother tells you are 'cazzate' (bull crap). The pregnancy that resulted in your presence in our lives did not come naturally. I always knew 'la vendetta' (revenge) was going to come via a curse."

"No no! I don't want to wear a seat belt. Who made that stupid law that says I have to wear that thing around my rear end? God forbid, I get thrown into the Mediterranean with your car! 'Cazzo', how the hell am I going to get out?"

"'Faccia di culo', when are you going to stop playing with computers and get a real job? You want to learn? Go read the 'Giornale di Sicilia' from cover to cover. That's a college education."

"The scam was discovered when neighbors phoned police to say they were worried because they hadn't seen the woman for some time." What they were trying to say is they hadn't heard her complaining in a sing-song intonation at an average 10 decibels louder than the majority of other Sicilians on that street.

 

Fake Italian Food Outdoing Real Italian Food

Rome - September 17, 2010 - Foreign-made goods that cash in on Italian food's fame and popularity by using names that make them sound authentic are outstripping the real deal two-to-one on the market place.

The 'Italian-sounding' food business is worth 26 billion euros a year in the Europe Union alone, over twice the value of the nation's exports of genuine goods to the region, Italy's food producers' federation Federalimentare said Friday.

It said offenders include Romanian 'parmezan' masquerading as parmesan cheese, Portugal's 'Milaneza' - not Milanese - pasta and the Montenegrin 'palenta' consumers might buy when they want traditional northern Italian polenta cornmeal.

Federalimentare expressed particular dismay at the 'Lasandwich' that supermarket giant Tesco recently unleashed on British shoppers, saying the delicious baked pasta dish does not deserve to have its name tarred in this way.

It also lamented the fact that even shoppers in Italy were buying more and more foreign foods with Italian-sounding names, calling on consumers to pay more attention to where their food is made.

Italy's producers say these goods do not taste anywhere near as good as the real thing and sometimes cause nasty surprises, as shown with the recent health alarm sparked by German-made mozzarella cheese that turned blue when opened.

Furthermore, Italian-sounding goods are only part of the food-piracy problem - some foreign fakes are even more brazen, using the proper names of the goods they are imitating.

As a result the CIA farming association estimates that food piracy costs Italy some 60 billion euros a year in total.

Another farmers' association, Coldiretti, says that in the US, Australia and New Zealand only around 2% of so-called Italian produce was actually from Italy, with fake San Daniele ham and mortadella among the offenders.

Coldiretti said that in the US you can also find clones of, among other things, prized cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Asiago and Romano, as well as 'Californian Chianti' and San Marzano tomatoes.

Environment association Legambiente, meanwhile, presented a report Friday based on checks carried out in 2009 which said meat and dairy products were the foods most targeted by the makers of fake foreign goods.

''This shows the battle against counterfeit foods is necessary to uphold law and order, to protect the public from fraudsters and keep their health safe,'' said Legambiente national secretary Francesco Ferrante, a Senator with the center-left opposition Democratic Party.

Despite the unfair competition, Federalimentare said Italian exports in Europe were up 11.6% in the first quarter of this year.

"Mamma mia", it's frightening to think that there are still rednecks out there who think red-checkered covered tables and heaping mounds of spaghetti dripping with a red sauce represents so-called Italian food.

Mini-guide: "Cazzo", I can't believe it's not Italian.


- Cheese: Kraft makes a product called "parmesan cheese" that’s definitively not "parmigiano-reggiano". We don't know what the hell is in there but it's not our stuff.

- The lasagne sandwich: A calorie infected sandwich that consists of a filling of minced processed beef, pasta sheets and a creamy sauce, between two thick slices of white bread. "'Fanculo, no one is shameful anymore. No shame. Why doesn't the inventor of this thing just wear a shirt that says, “You hear that? It's the wind whistling through my head”, and maybe that will satisfy us.

- Olive oil: Check the label. Does it say “extra-virgin”? Is there a harvest or milling date, in addition to the best-use date? Is the harvest date within 12 months? Remember, extra-virgin oil is “best used” within 18 months...and don't accept a dinner invitation by someone who stores olive oil in a wine cellar as if it is supposed to increase in value over time.

"Pasquale, I just cracked open a bottle of superb oil I got during my wild boar safari in Tuscany in '98. Try it on your salad."

"Eh, vaffanculo Todd. Will someone please pass the corn oil?"

 

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Italian Politician Disapproves Blasts Tarantino's Venice Stunt

Rome - September 17, 2010 - Italy's Minister of Culture said he wants to pick the president of the jury for the next Venice Film Festival, arguing that the state's support gives him that right and charging that festival artistic director Marco Mueller's choice of auteur Quentin Tarantino as president of the last jury was "elitist."

In an interview published in Friday's edition of the Italian newsweekly Panorama, Minister Sandro Bondi blasted the decision of the jury to award the festival's top prize to Sophia Coppola's "Somewhere." Since the festival concluded September 11, the Italian media has charged that the choice showed favoritism toward American writer-director Coppola, Tarantino's former girlfriend.

Tarantino also was criticized for the jury's decision to present Tarantino's mentor, the respected independent filmmaker Monte Hellman, with a career award, and for giving two major awards to Spanish filmmaker Alex de la Iglesia, a longtime friend of the 47-year-old Tarantino.

After the festival, Tarantino aggressively denied "steering" the jury, which included fellow directors Arnaud Desplechin of France, Guillermo Arriaga of Mexico, and Italians Gabriele Salvatores and Luca Guadagnino, plus Lithuanian actress Ingeborga Dapkunaite and composer Danny Elfman.

"Tarantino is the expression of an elitist, relativistic and snobbish culture," Bondi said in the interview. "It's clear that his vision influences his critical judgment. The results of this year's festival should oblige everyone to open their eyes and do a little bit of soul searching."

Bondi also criticized Mueller, who has been Venice's artistic director since 2004.

"Mueller is like a soccer coach, in love with his own schemes up to the point that he is unable to focus on the talent that is visible to everyone else," the magazine quoted Bondi as saying.

Bondi has actively reshaped the relationship between the Italian state and the cinema sector since he took office in 2006. In the past, he has refused to provide state funding for projects deemed critical of the government or those seen to have limited artistic value, and he has refused to attend major festivals including Cannes, Locarno and Venice in protest of the decision of those events to screen films he said were inappropriate.

In the Panorama interview, Bondi said that because the Italian government directly or indirectly provides more than half of the Venice Film Festival's 12.1 million euro ($15.7 million) budget, that it should have the right to decide who oversees the festival's main competition jury.

Most of the reaction to Bondi's claim that the Italian government should pick the jury president has been negative.

"Bondi was motivated by the fact that he wanted an Italian film to win, the goal of a lot of people," said producer Domenico Procacci, whose film "Barney's Vision" was in competition in Venice this year. "But there is no country in the world where politics plays the role of protecting and defending the national film industry."

Jury member Guadagnino agreed: "The first thing that comes to mind is a profound confusion about the state's financing an event like the Venice Film Festival," he said. "Does that support mean that the event should only exist to entertain the leaders of the government?"

If Bondi was indeed given a voice in selecting the main competition jury, it would make Venice the first major film festival in which the state plays such an active role in selecting a jury. Several leading industry figures said such a move would severely damage Venice's credibility.

"These ideas are not in line with the practice in countries that host large festivals, in which the autonomy of the event is guaranteed," said Ricardo Tozzi, president of the Italian audiovisual association ANICA. "The composition of the jury is a technical job...it could never be carried out by someone who lacks that specific expertise."

A spokesman for the Venice festival, the world's oldest film festival, said officials had no comment regarding Bondi's remarks.

"The name is Bondi...Sandro Bondi." He reminds us of those people who take home videos and call it a movie.

- He graduated with a degree in philosophy. "I think therefore, I am a film critic."

- A Catholic democrat, he campaigned for the Italian Communist Party, and was elected mayor of Fivizzano in 1990. In 1992 the town council led by him was overturned by a local Socialist Party. Activists already playfully compared him to a "rapanello" (radish): that is, red on the outside but white on the inside. Following these events the radish cried and left the communist party.

- He has actively reshaped the relationship between the Italian state and the cinema sector since he took office in 2006. In the past, he has refused to provide state funding for cinema projects he deemed critical of his Italian government, his beloved Berlusconi, or his shiny bald head.

- He has refused to attend major film festivals including Cannes, Locarno and Venice in protest of the decision of those events to screen films he said were inappropriate. In fact, Hollywood is so mesmerized by his expertise, they want to unfreeze Walt Disney so he can meet with Bondi to negotiate film making and production.

What a pain in the "culo". We wonder if Tarantino first thought our Minister of Culture had gone up to him for his autograph?

 

Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
 
 
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