Say Cheese!

Roquefort is the king of cheeses
Roquefort is the king of cheeses

by André Gayot


The Roquefort saga continues to unfold. The Europeans, of course, did not appreciate the last “gift” of the Bush administration: the tripling of the taxes on imported Roquefort cheese as of March 23, 2009. The background of the story is:


While it is legal in America to raise beef with hormones that accelerate the growth of the animals and also to “sanitize” chickens with chlorine (to prevent harmful salmonella), such procedures are forbidden in Europe. Since 1988, the European Union has banned US beef and chicken which does not comply with the European rules.


On January 15, 2009, just before its departure from office, the Bush administration reignited the dispute, threatening the EU with tripled taxes on Roquefort. Some Europeans reply, “You highlight a symbol of the European gastronomy and you punish it to make your move spectacular. We can replicate in choosing an American symbol, Coca-Cola, for instance, and implement high taxes on imported Coca-Cola concentrates.” The dispute has been brought to the appreciation of the World Trade Organization. Do we really want another war?


Hopefully, the meeting on February 9 between French Minister for Agriculture Lucien Barnier and his new US counterpart Tom Vilsack will diffuse the quarrel.


We suggest this recipe for their lunch: Mix 4 ounces of Roquefort and 1 ounce of butter with a fork.  Add a shot of Worcestershire sauce and two tablespoonful of Cognac and mix again. We are not sure about replacing the Cognac with Coke.

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