Spaghetti bolognese is a popular dish all over the world. Most people enjoy it. However, in Italy, you might find it hard to find, unless you go to a restaurant catering mainly to tourists. Many Italians make sardonic jokes about the dish. They claim the original recipe was stolen and has been corrupted by foreigners. The Mayor of Bologna, Virginio Merola is taking things one step further, as he has had enough. He posted a tweet with an image advertising spaghetti bolognese on Twitter and invited others to post their own, in order to try and make his point.

Spaghetti bolognese is ‘Fake News’

Virginio Merola has obviously heard the term coined regularly by US President Donald Trump – “Fake News” – as he added the words to his tweet, which says the dish simply does not exist. In his Italian language tweet, Merola writes that he wishes to collect photos from all over the world relating to spaghetti bolognese. He then mentioned the words "fake news" and mentioned that his post was taken in London. Merola then went on to invite others to share their own images relating to the dish.

It is Merola's aim to inform people through social media that the coveted dish did not originate in his city.

Bologna is the capital of Emilia-Romagna and has its own culinary specialities. He wants to remove references to Bologna from spaghetti bolognese because so many tourists still insist on ordering the bastardised dish.

Merola's image is of a signboard outside a restaurant in London, where they offer the dish as the “speciality of the house.” According to a report by the Telegraph, many Twitter users, mostly Italian in origin, responded to his tweet and posted their own images relating to spaghetti bolognese.

One had a jar of Heinz sauce while a second showed a signboard in Moravia which was touting the delicious “Bolonske Spagety.” The Knorr spaghetti bolognese spice mix below was snapped in Holland.

Exhibition on ‘fake news’ dish at FICO Eataly World

Merola is asking people to post their own images for a reason.

He wishes to hold a photographic exhibition at the upcoming FICO Eataly World event, which showcases Italian gastronomy. You have to love the name "Eataly," the perfect pun!

According to CBC, Merola did say he is pleased that the fake dish had raised awareness for his city, but he said he would rather people knew of Bologna due to its own, authentic culinary traditions. The dish is apparently a bad copy of ragù alla bolognese, a dish which did originate in the city. However, it is rather different from the dish that we have all become accustomed to. Chefs use the thicker tagliatelle pasta when making the dish as opposed to spaghetti.

The real deal dish includes beef or cured pork cooked in fat, together with celery, carrot and onion. No garlic or herbs are used but red or white wine is added for flavour, along with a dash of milk. Spaghetti bolognese, it is not.