The Atlantic just dropped its year-end top ten calling out the biggest "food stories" of 2010. Let's run down the roster. We have meat-worship, "frankenfish," school lunch reform, New York City's crusades against soda and Four Loko, the tainted egg recall, food trucks, foraging, the food safety bill, Michelle Obama, and... Italian food? Really?
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Apparently, yes. According to The Atlantic, Italy has been "winning Western Europe's gastronomical tug of war." As evidence, the magazine cites the fact a bunch of high-profile Italian joints have recently opened in New York. That huge city on the other coast may be a "bellwether" for emerging American tastes, but red-blooded American kids have long been able to name pasta shapes faster than state capitols. Checkered tablecloths are settling into what we must guess is their third wave of semi-ironic appeal. For a few years now, every savvy restaurateur seems to have a recession-friendly "artisanal" pizzeria in his portfolio. Didn't Italian food break a while ago, way back when the sky was sepia? What, if anything, do you readers think might have been a fitting substitute?