Spaghetti and pizza are so popular in North Korea that even street vendors serve Italian food, a worker in the first Italian restaurant in North Korea said in an interview.
Ri Bong Nyo, a server at an Italian restaurant in Kwangbok Street, Pyongyang, went on to praise Italian food’s nutritional value while talking with North Korea’s weekly Tongil Sinbo, published last Saturday.
“There used to be only our restaurant dedicated to Italian dishes but later another one appeared in Pyongchon district (in Pyongyang),” she said. “Now there are many restaurants, big and small, including even street vendors which serve spaghetti and pizza.”
Many even cook such Italian dishes at home, since these recipes are easily found through newspapers and magazines, she said.
However, the first Italian restaurant in Pyongyang is still popular among North Koreans, she said.
“In this restaurant, customers can watch the cooks, who studied directly in Italy, cooking spaghetti right in front of the customers and the taste is better than in other restaurants,” Ri said.
The cooks have developed their own indigenous versions of pizza, including crown daisy pizza and kimchi pizza, and these are also popular among North Koreans.
The restaurant opened in 2008 under the guidance of late leader Kim Jong Il, the report said. The cooks were sent to Italy and studied Italian food for three months.
North Korea’s state television channel Korean Central TV (KCTV) aired an introduction to the restaurant in 2009, featuring interviews with a server, cook and some customers.
When asked by the interviewer about an article in South Korea that asserted that only the rich in North Korea can enjoy pizza and spaghetti, Ri answered that everyone can enjoy Italian food there and criticized South Korea’s “habit of confrontation” as leading them to criticize all things about its Northern neighbor.
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Featured Image: North Korea Pyongyang pizzeria by Eric Lafforgue on 2009-05-22 07:44:21