Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Something Stinks?

I'm not fond of bleu cheese. The few times I've had it, it's pungency overwhelmed me and the other foods I was eating. I generally avoid it if I can.

That's not to say the news article linked below doesn't lead to something greater. One of the last things that former President Bush did before he left office was to impose higher tariffs on certain imported luxury goods...including a 300% duty on Roquefort Cheese! The article mentions this is retaliation for the European Union's ban on imported US Beef containing growth hormones. What? Are we still fighting "Freedom Fries?"

This is crazy. These higher tariffs also affect French truffles, Irish oatmeal, Italian sparkling water and foie gras. All I can do is laugh at how ridiculous this is. What did oatmeal, water and fungi ever do to us? I get that these are luxury items and should require some additional tax, but this is just ridiculous.

Some items are just made better! I have yet to find a domestic parmesan cheese that holds up to the authentic Italian Parmigiano Reggiano. I don't eat lamb, but I understand that Australia has some of the best. What about herbs & spices from around the globe? Wine???? Anyone? Anyone? Come on. These items being imported into the U.S. are artisanal, natural, maybe even organic. The E.U. just doesn't want our chemically enhanced godzilla-style beef? I'm sure they are fine with Niman Ranch beef or similar products.

That's my soap box.

Read for yourself at The Washington Post: Bush War on Roquefort Raises A Stink in France.


Anonymous said...

I cannot address anything but the sparkling waters from Italy - Right now they are being sold in the US for less that domestic producers can bottle them. This should not be the case, but due to less costly labor and cost of materials and trade agreements, it happens. The tariffs will make an equitable playing field and if you research the other items, you may find that it is the same with those items.

Stef said...

Don't know much about the policies -- but I'll gladly take your share of roquefort at any time. I love the stuff so much I want to roll around in it. One of our caterers does this "log" of roquefort with a balsamic glaze.... ((shudder)) it makes me think naughty things.