3 thoughts on “[Thoughts on the Table – 12] Slow Food/Fast Food”

  1. I actually remember Burghy from the 1980's. Or at least remembering seeing it on one of my first trips to Italy and chuckling at the name. I did not try it, of course—I hadn't traveled all that way just to eat a hamburger… I have eaten at a Spizzico, on the other hand. There was one on the via del Corso in Rome when we were living there. Like you, I thought it was surprisingly good for 'fast food', but as you say, so much of Italian cooking *is* fast food, in the literal sense, anyway.

    And, for what it's worth, I can't imagine Starbucks catching on in Italy. Leaving aside the business model, most Italians I know find American style coffee undrinkable. I can't say I blame them…

  2. Thanks Frank, I hope you're right about Starbucks 🙂

    I was reading more about Burghy, the Italian fast-food chain founded in 1982 in Milan. It turns out that the chain was instrumental in allowing McDonald's to establish itself in Italy, where it was having troubles obtaining licenses to open new restaurants. After opening its first outlet in Rome in 1986 (as we say in the podcast), McDonald's had "only" managed to reach 38 restaurants by 1996. On that year, however, it finally took over the Burghy chain, which consisted in 80 restaurants in all of northern Italy, effectively establishing a fast-food monopoly in the country. The old owner of Burghy, however, managed to have McDonald's agree to buy its meat from him – so the Italians didn't really change their patties. However, they encountered dill pickles for the first time, which they started to pull out from their sandwiches 🙂

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