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This French Carbonara Recipe Pissed Off All of Italy

The world of gastronomy is one of constant innovation and reinvention. But some things are not up for debate, or even variation, and carbonara is one of them.
Foto via Flickr-brugeren Martin Krolikowski

The world of gastronomy is one of constant innovation and reinvention. But some things are not up for debate, or even variation, and carbonara is one of them.

There is a right and wrong way of making the time-tested Roman classic; the right way involves egg, pecorino, guanciale, and lots of black pepper. The wrong way is any deviation whatsoever from this simple, beautiful formula—no onions, no bacon, no parsley, and, of course, no cream.

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READ MORE: Stop Putting Cream in Your Carbonara

A powerful reaffirmation of this principle came last week after French website Démotivateur proposed a one-pot-wonder variation on the theme which involved boiling (gasp) onions, bacon, and noodles together. That heaping pile of boiled stuff is then topped them with crème fraîche, cheese, parsley, and a raw egg yolk. Not chill, France.

The video has gotten over one million views, according to The Telegraph, and almost as many negative comments from baffled Italians. Naturally, passions and nationalist chirps abound; "It's worse than a horror movie," "KILL YOURSELVES DAMN SNAIL EATERS," and "I am french and this is shit!!!"

Even pasta giant Barilla, no stranger to controversy, was forced to distance itself from the blasphemous video, presumably for fear of backlash from fellow Italians who saw their farfalle noodles being used in the how-to. "We're open to all kinds of variations on the carbonara, but this goes too far…désolé [sorry]," Barilla reportedly wrote on its official Facebook page.

Needless to say, the fact that the recipe was taken down is a tacit mea culpa on the part of Démotivateur, but all of this controversy begs a larger question; why does a dish as simple and delicious as carbonara need to be simplified in the first place?

Or, rather, in the immortal words of ACME's Mitch Orr, "How are you—some chump that's only been cooking for ten years—going to improve on generations of fucking perfection?"