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Brunch? In Italy they call it “broonch”

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Above: The Kobe Burger with Fried Egg, Parmigiano Reggiano Fries, and Tomato Marmalade.

Italians love American pop culture: from Coca Cola to Michael Jackson, from Timberland boots to Woody Allen, they just can’t seem to get enough of it.

But in recent years, another all-American phenomenon has begun to command the attention — and appetites — of the Milanese and the Romans: brunch, or as the Italians call it, “broonch”.

It’s quite remarkable, really: in a country whose cuisine has conquered the world (can you imagine an American city or town without a pizzeria and an Italian restaurant?) and where food lovers generally hold American food in disdain (partly out of snobbery and partly because of the commercial forces that drive American fastfood), brunch has become an unstoppable fashion.

All the top hotels in Milan — the fashion capital of the world — serve a Sunday morning brunch where you’ll invariably find the city’s jet-setters who treat the tradition like a religion, opting for American-style bacon instead of their beloved pancetta.

In Rome, the glitterati mingle with American tourists at the myriad venues where brunch is favored by the nightclubbing set. You could even say that la dolce vita is made all the more sweet by the Hollandaise sauce on the Eggs Benedict.

At Ciao Bello Italian-style “broonch” is served every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tony Vallone adds a Sicilian touch with a Bellini made using classic Sicilian blood oranges.

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