Meet the Pasta Police

ILLUSTRATION for TIME by BARRY BLITT

After a fitful sleep, Pomarico Benedetto rose last Wednesday at 7 a.m. and put on a bright blue suit. He'd been preparing for this day since May, when he'd asked the Italian government to determine whether his Ristorante da Beni outside Brussels is a "real" Italian restaurant. Merely serving tagliatelle al pesto or tiramisù, it turns out, is no longer enough to qualify; last fall, the Ministry of Agriculture and the International Association of Italian Restaurants announced that they would begin issuing authenticity certificates to Italian restaurants (there are some 60,000 worldwide, according to the Italian Federation of Bars and Catering)...

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