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?

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?

LA Weekly