Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Meanwhile, In News That Really Matters ...

Hailstorms cause pesto shortage in Italy

By ARIEL DAVID, Associated Press Writer

ROME - Lovers of pesto, the tangy green pasta sauce, are bracing for increased prices or even shortages after unseasonable hailstorms in northern Italy destroyed much of the most prized variety of basil, the key ingredient in the Genoese specialty.

Hailstones the size of tennis balls smashed glass panes on scores of greenhouses and pummeled fragile basil plants this month, wiping out entire crops near the town of Pra, west of Genoa, the capital of the Liguria region in northwest Italy.

"The heart of basil production has been hit," Andrea Sampietro, director of the Ligurian chapter of Confagricoltura, an Italian farmers' lobby, said Monday.

I'm not belittling the plight. The hailstorms caused $6.5 million in damage. I just think, in these days of oil prices escalating because of unrest in the Middle East, the headline is funny.


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