“Spaghetti Tree” has London’s restaurant goers fooled

21/12/2009 - 00:00
Customers at a London pizza restaurant are queuing up to buy a “real, live Spaghetti Tree” displayed by its Italian owners.

Simone Falco, managing director of Rossopomodoro, which has three restaurants in London, decided to replace the traditional Christmas tree in their Covent Garden branch with a pasta growing version – in reality, a simple weeping fig plant (ficus benjamina) draped in boiled and cooled spaghetti. But customers have been offering anything up to £300 to take his Spaghetti tree home with them, because they think it produces real live pasta. "I had heard about the famous BBC stunt from the 1950s where people were seen harvesting spaghetti from bushes in Switzerland. Which gave me the idea for our alternative Christmas tree," said Simone. "We put a banner in the window saying it was real, and wrote a history of the Spaghetti Tree – which we called Albero Di PastaLunga (Tree of the Long Pasta). "It is just a bit of fun, but obviously a lot of people don't quite understand where pasta comes from. We have had six people asking to buy one. "If someone offers us £500 I suppose we will have to accept and give the money to charity, but I will have to let them into the secret first. It's not real!" Rossopomodoro was originally founded in Naples and is now one of Italy's largest restaurant groups.

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