It is not unusual, looking at supermarket shelves, to bump on so-called Italian foods whose labels awkwardly try to communicate an Italian flavour.
One can find, for example, the Leaning Tower of Pisa portrayed on a lasagne pack, Pulcinella greedily eating "gnocchi alla romana", or a Venetian gondola in the background of a photo depicting a frozen pizza with artichokes and papaya.
All these expedients are supposed to convey a home-made, typically Italian atmosphere in the interest of the supposedly unaware foreign shoppers.
Though us Italians living abroad were quite accustomed to that, the Portoguese company Pingo Doce succeeded in providing us with something better.
Well, I received last week an email from a colleague of mine, Matteo Naccari, who informed me, as well as other Italian guys, about the disquieting marketing operation attempted by the supermarkets chain Pingo Doce.
Naccari, who was not able to resist to the temptation given by a dish of fettuccine with pesto, bought this jar...
So much for the usual symbols of Italy, now it's time to be represented all around the world by the “Italian gestures”, which internationally afflict us, in this case the one meaning – more or less – “What's up?”.
That's not it. After having received Matteo's email, I bought too a couple of ready-to-cook sauces, whose Italianness one can tell by some gestures that I didn't know being marks of our people.
The first one, pictured on a jar of tomato and basil sauce, is the sign meaning “It's alright”.
The second one, associated to an unspeakable bolognese sauce, I don't know either what is supposed to mean, though I am afraid it suggests something like “Yes, these spaghetti are really well cooked”.