Italy has officially descended into culinary hell with its sponsorship of the new McItaly Burger. Although Luca Zaia, the Italian minister of agriculture, food and forestry policies, insists that all of the items in the burger are sourced locally, giving a boost to local farmers, this fast-food item is still a kick to the groin for the country that gave us some of the world's best cuisine.
After all, Leonardo Da Vinci did not include a McItaly burger in his masterpiece, "The Last Supper."
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It's like McDonald's has taken over an entire country with clowns and furry creatures, replacing the Mona Lisa with a slab of byproducts under a bun of ill repute.
Still, the minister put his seal -- "Under the patronage of" - on the burger, and made it official at a ceremony in Rome in late January, right by the historic Spanish Steps. And although Zaia delivered a classic comeback to his critics -- "With regret, we are forced to deliver bad news to this kind of left: Stalin is dead. And we can safely bet he never set foot in a McDonald's" -- he's managed to marginalize all the other fine products coming from the hills of romance.
No true Italian would ever bite into his argument for the McItaly burger.
It's time to say "ciao" to McDonald's.