There's marketing, there's selling out, and then there's the McItaly, the new McDonald's hamburger that comes wrapped in the Italian flag, both literally and figuratively. The Italian government has so thoroughly embraced the burger that Luca Zaia, Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Agriculture Minister, appeared at a press conference wearing a McDonald's apron.
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The burgers (there are two versions) are reportedly made with all Italian ingredients and feature more Italian toppings, like Asiago cheese, artichoke spread and smoked pancetta, than the standard hamburger recipe. "We want to give an imprint of Italian flavors to our youngsters," said Zaia. In an open letter in an Italian newspaper, Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement, accused the government of sponsoring a multinational corporation. Petrini unsuccessfully fought the 1985 opening of McDonald's first franchise in Italy. No word yet on whether the A.C. Milan players are eating the burgers--or wearing McDonald's aprons on the field.