What in the heck is going on? It’s hard to imagine the motivation, but once again the federal government, in the interest of protecting us from things that we may not need protecting from, has stopped allowing a certain lactic criminal element into the country, better known as Mimolette Cheese!
If you don’t, and you should know it because it’s quite delicious, this ancient cheese has been consumed by the French for over 1,000 years and has been imported into the United States for many years as well without ever once ACTUALLY causing a problem, other than a little anxiety caused by the absurdly high price.
But based on the same kind of misinterpretation as mentioned in my last few columns, our overlords have decided, once again, there is an abstract potential for an allergic reaction to the critters essential to the creation of the mottled surface rind of this cheese.
These international terrorists, these unwanted immigrants crossing our borders paying no attention to the requirements of Homeland Security, these heathen creatures have been found guilty by the FDA, based not on thousands of years consumption without incident, but on a study which claims to have shown that cheesemites consumed in humongous quantities MAY cause a tiny number of people to have allergic reactions.
Oddly enough, though they don’t respect French cheesemaking tradition and thousands of years history, they do respect this one study, which was done by the French as well!
But this is not the essential issue. Lord knows I’ve seen electron microscopic pictures of cheese mites and don’t relish the idea of consuming the crunchy little creatures, so I am in the habit of trimming the freaking rind off the cheese before consuming it.
Nor do I hold anything against the great American tradition of French bashing: those crêpe eating, wine guzzling, pate loving pinkoes should be held in disdain if for nothing else than, despite all the butter and cheese they consume, they don’t get fat.
But banning foods based on the standard that they coulda would’ve might possibly make a handful of people have a non-fatal allergic reaction is a dangerous precedent!
In case you haven’t looked lately, milk is allergenic to some people as well. And following the paternalistic logic behind the ban on Mimolette, “If it could it will and we must ban,” is the next step to ban milk products as well ?
Don’t laugh, it is no more absurd to think that they would ban milk products, than they would pick on a little-known, and rarely eaten cheese like Mimolette. Of course, how silly of me, I forgot - bullies never pick on people big enough to fight back: us, the US dairy industry. But They can pretty much count on the fact that our sleepy industry doesn’t really care that much what happens to a little Frenchie they don’t consume much of themselves until the day that the men in the uniforms come and arrest their children for the crime against the state of drinking milk, and then it is too late.
The problem is that when people have the power to make decisions unilaterally, without any input from people in the industry or consumers, to ban products based on the thinnest of evidence without any consideration for whether or not any incidents actually happened, nor the potential number of people exposed to the problem, a very dangerous precedent has been set. When we allow the government to make decisions in a reality distortion field, they may begin to take themselves seriously.
And whatever happened to the great American love of fighting for the underdog? After all, the French originally made mimolette in order to stop an invasion of foreigners called Dutchmen, and their infernal “Edam.” Really, a simple warning would suffice, to the six people in the US that can afford the stuff.
Dan Strongin is managing partner and owner of Edible Solutions, a consulting company focused on helping companies making great food make a profit. He encourages your comments regarding this column. Comments can be made anonymously to firstname.lastname@example.org. For previous Strongin columns, visit: www.cheesereporter.com.
Dan Strongin is managing partner and owner of Edible Solutions,
a consulting company focused on helping companies making great food
make a profit. He will be writing a monthly column in Cheese Reporter.
Strongin can be reached via phone at (510) 224-0493, or via e-mail at email@example.com. You can visit and blog with Dan at www.managenaturally.com.
Strongin Articles written for Cheese Reporter
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