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food / travel

Starbucks Sets Up Shop In Coffee Heartland, Colombia

Starbucks Sets Up Shop In Coffee Heartland, Colombia
El Espectador

BOGOTA — Call it the South American version of selling ice to eskimos: Starbucks is opening its first store in Colombia on July 16. The shop marks the start of the American coffee giant's operations in a country that grows and produces lots of its own brew, and already has a strong, local but international, coffee brand, Juan Valdéz.

In fact, Starbucks plans to open its first store right next door to Juan Valdéz in the Parque 93 shopping and dining district in northern Bogotá, frequented by the Colombian middle class and foreign tourists. This will be the first of 50 stores Starbucks plans to open in Colombia by 2018.

In August 2013, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that Starbucks would be entering the Colombian market in partnership with Nutresa, a local food and drinks firm. The partnership formula has been used elsewhere by the company. Starbucks entered the Spanish market in partnership with VIPS, a chain of eateries and stores with a very high profile and string of stores, often located in some of the finest districts in Spanish cities.

Schultz said the firm's success elsewhere would not assure the same in Colombia, a country he nevertheless described as "a very big market and ready for Starbucks."

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food / travel

Pasta v. Fascists: How Italy's Staple Dish Became A Symbol Of Resistance

Pasta may not be considered controversial today, but it played an important role during Italy's fascist years, particularly in one family's celebration of community and liberation.

Photo of the Cervi family.

Photo of the Cervi family, whose seven children were shot by the Fascists on December 28, 1943, at the Reggio Emilia shooting range.

@comunisti_alla_ribalta via Instagram
Jacopo Fontaneto

ROME — Eighty years ago — on July 25, 1943 — the vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism, leading to Benito Mussolini's arrest, set off widespread celebrations. In Campegine, a small village in the Emilian province, the Cervi family celebrated in their own way: they brought 380 kilograms of pasta in milk cans to the town square and offered it to all the inhabitants of the village.

The pasta was strictly plain: macaroni dressed with butter and cheese, seen as more of a "festive dish" in that period of deprivation. As soon as the Cervi brothers learned about the arrest of Mussolini, they procured flour, borrowed butter and cheese from the dairy, and prepared kilos and kilos of pasta. They then loaded it onto a cart to distribute it to their fellow villagers. Pastasciutta (dry pasta) specifically regards dishes with noodles that are plated "dry", not in broth. That would disqualify soup, risotto, ravioli...

Even though pastasciutta is the most stereotypical type of pasta today, it had a complicated relationship with the government during Italy's fascist years.

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