Strings with tomato sauce ???

February 21, 2013 , ,

Would you like to eat “Little strings with tomato sauce”? This is the literal translation of  “Spaghetti al pomodoro”. And this may have to become the official name of this classic Italian dish in Quebec restaurants, to avoid the risk of being blamed by the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF), the local language watchdog.

This is what happened to Buonanotte Restaurant‘s owner Massimo Lecas. The restaurateur was recently visited by the OQLF, who pointed out a few alleged violations to Bill 101, including the word “pasta” on their menu.

Apparently OQLF is now backtracking, amid furious protests over the net, and OQLF spokesman Martin Bergeron said officials may have misinterpreted the law. But at least half of the menu needs to be in French, even at Italian restaurants.

What do you think? Where is the right borderline? Read the latest on the CBC website

And don’t forget to try our recipe for “Little strings with tomato sauce 😉


Cinzia Cuneo
Cinzia Cuneo, founder of, never wanted to neglect the quality of her food. She shares her special expertise to make good food quickly and without complications!

2 comments to “Strings with tomato sauce ???”

February 21, 2013 Rob said:

“Petit cordes avec sauce tomate” mmmmmmmmm that sounds appetizing…….not. And let’s not forget all the other perennial favorites such as the Hambourgeois and the beloved Chien Chaud! This is getting silly Cinzia. It’s a HOT DOG. You can see it on the menu in Costco written in letters 2 feet tall!

When was the last time you heard someone order a “bifteck”. It’s always, “un steak medium saignant” everyplace I go and when the dinner is over it’s “Bon weekend” and everybody goes their way. This is the Quebec that makes me smile.

A friend related a story of a trip to Paris during which he asked for “des roties” with breakfast. The waiter looked at him confused and then it dawned on him. With a broad smile he said,” Aaaaaaah monsieur, tu veut du toast?”

If we’re going to preserve a culture in Quebec, shouldn’t it be the one that was created by the melting pot of all the different nationalities that have made this province over the past 400 years? It just seems that the government wants to change 400 years of history and deny that the Italians and Greeks, the Irish, the Scots, the Brits and everyone else had anything to do with the province. It’s shameful. Someone once said that denying history dooms you to repeat it and maybe that’s why this debate keeps haunting Anglophones, Allophones AND Francophones alike for the last several decades.

And while we’re at it, shouldn’t it be “Bureau de la langue francais” as opposed to “Office”? ……….only saying!!!

Cheers and buon appetito!

February 24, 2013 Cinzia said:

Hi Rob! As expected, our “pastagate” has toured the world. I heard there were at least 350 articles on this subject in 14 countries. As far as myself, I saw a story on CNN and read an article on the “Corriere della Sera”, one of the most respected Italian newspapers. Unfortunately this is not good news for our image abroad.

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