Tuesday, April 11, 2006

When'sa your Dolmio Day?

I'm still sitting here bleary-eyed waiting for the Italian general election results. At 6am this morning the situation was that Romano Prodi had won most of the votes in the lower house. Almost five hours later, the situation is exactly the same. Prodi is celebrating victory, but Berlusconi is contesting and asking for a recount which could take all day. This debacle is typical of Italian politics, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Prodi. Not that his nine party coalition - ranging from communists to Catholics – inspires a lot of confidence, but he does seem to be a nice chap and good on him if he manages to keep the corrupt foul mouthed businessman at bay.

I was off last week and whilst doing some writing at home, ITV's This Morning was on in the background. At every advert, the Dolmio family appeared with their zany antics, including Papa Dolmo mimicking a TV presenter. Dolmio is sponsoring Britain's number one daytime show for nine months. A Masterfoods spokesman said that they hoped to reach the target audience of busy mums' at the time of day when meals are planned – God help the kids of this country.
Have you ever tasted this stuff? It bares absolutely no resemblance to a pasta sauce you'd get in Italy and I think it's shocking that it's being promoted as a traditional Italian product. If you go on the website, there is a section titled 'ask Mama'. If they're claiming to be so authentic, at least get the spelling right (it should be 'Mamma'.) At the end of their adverts, you'll even notice the 'blink and you'll miss it' Made in Holland. One of the snippets on This Morning is a scene where the plastic puppets are sitting around the table with steaming plates of spaghetti with bolognese sauce. Papa says “one, two, three, four” and they begin the race to finish first. The reality would be “one, two, three, four” find the dog first.....
I thought that this country was becoming more culinary aware – some of the best chefs and restaurants in Britain are British – quite an achievement considering the fact that some of the best chefs from all over the world have made a home here. If Mums have got time to be watching This Morning, I'm sure they could whip up a quick pasta sauce from scratch – it really doesn't take that long.

14 comments:

Travel Italy said...

Here here!!!

The sauce would not only be better tasting but would be much better for their kids health and weight.

Sorry about the rant but you know I write about how good traditional and how bad industrial food is all the time.

For the elections the only thing that is important is the Prodi is able to keep it together for the entire term as Berlusca did otherwise the change is very bad.

Aidan said...

First the US with Bush v Gore - then Germany last year with Schroeder v Merkel - now another apparent stalemate in Italy.
By comparison, the 'mere' 67-seat majority which is meant to be so troublesome to Tony Blair's prospects of survival seems a monumental landslide, and lesson in how to settle an election...!

Wouldn't it be ironic if Berlusconi is turfed out of office on the very same day as 'bosses of bosses' Bernardo 'The Tractor'/'The Accountant'/'Uncle Bernie' Provenzano is finally collared after more than four decades on the run...

wrinkled weasel said...

Yes I sympathise about the pasta sauce. Made in Holland as well so it is about Italian as clogs.
Berlusconi has the look of a crook. Is it that simple?
Please post your recipe for basic tomato sauce, ACT. I use tomatoes and basil straight from my greenhouse, with a bit of garlic and a bit of Orvieto.

a.c.t said...

Sounds great, you're lucky to be able to have lots of fresh basil on hand. I just fry some garlic and onions, tin of tomatoes, salt, cook it for an hour and then add some basil at the very end. In the summer when the tomatoes are nice and tasty I like to use fresh cherry tomatoes instead. I do occasionally use some red wine in it too. Some people in the south of Italy say that you never mix onions and garlic together but I don't agree. My Nonna used to use butter in her sauce instead of olive oil which makes the sauce lovely and rich, but less healthy.

wrinkled weasel said...

Thanks for that. I am always tempted to skimp on the cooking time, which is a mistake.

a.c.t said...

No probs. If I use fresh cherry tomatoes I only cook it for about 15 mins as it doesn't need much cooking. You must have tomatoes in your greenhouse too?

wrinkled weasel said...

yes, there are tomatoes in the greenhouse, climate permitting. I am just south of Edinburgh and things take a while to get going up here. I did peppers, but they were to late and more or less rotted before they were edible. i got a lot of tomatoes though, and was able to cook and freeze them. They made incredible tomato soup, nothing like the heinz version.regards, Weaz

Travel Italy said...

Buona Pasqua!

nina said...

I hate that Dolmio stuff too *and* the ads. The fact they advertise something as Italian when it's not made in Italy and tastes like crap is already sad but the ads are just taking the mickey. It's the stupidest stereotype of the backwards rural/southern Italian family who does nothing all day but eat pasta. You never seen modern urban Italy in ads about Italian stuff. Bah.

wrinkled weasel said...

here's a link you might be interested in

http://www.theitaliantaste.com/index.php

a.c.t said...

Very interesting - I particularly like the 80's photos and the section on good manners esp the bit on how to behave in unusual places.

* (asterisk) said...

I find the heavily accented "whens'a your Dolmio day" quite offensive, and as an inglese italianato have considered writing a letter to Trading Standards!

Thanks for stopping by at my blog. There's quite a few Italy bits on there if you hunt around. I shall check in on yours from time to time.

a.c.t said...

Will do. Always nice to find fellow inglese-italiani bloggers.

* (asterisk) said...

Sure is!