Pizza Loses Favor as Italians Turn to Pasta
This is part of an ongoing series National Geographic is running on the impact rising food prices are having even on developed countries. And while rising prices are an irritation for us, they are devastating for poorer countries where people have to spend the majority of their income just to eat.
The ongoing crisis in food prices has made a luxury of one of the world's most iconic foods even in its affluent homeland.
Italians are shirking pizza due to skyrocketing bills and turning increasingly to pasta, which remains comparatively cheap despite also seeing large increases in cost.
"When I was a student, it was a Saturday night classic: You went out with your friends and had a pizza," said Cristina Romanelli, a 34-year-old living in Rome. "Now you spend so much you can do it only once in a while."
In fact, the number of Italians who say their favorite food is pizza has dropped from 14.1 percent to 8.7 percent in the past two years, according to a survey from GPF Research Institute, a private opinion poll company.
Rising cereal costs, experts say, are pumping up the cost of the wheat flour used to make pizza dough. Wheat costs have grown 23.2 percent since April 2007, according to the national Institute of Services for Agricultural and Food Markets.