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Curd for Cash

29 Apr

So the Greeks are happy to accept piles of EU cash after running their economy into the ground with dodgy fiscal planning, bad turkish mustaches, too many private loans and uncontrolled public spending.

But they don’t want to cut any wages. No sir, that would never do. As long as the EU is on hand to once again bail out people who can’t control their own spending or borrowing, then why does anybody have to make that kind of effort?

I however have dreamed up a possible compromise. Just give us back the feta cheese.

Fig 1: Cheese that you can eat but then I have to kill you

You may have noticed this in your part of the world too, but since 2002 there is no non-Greek feta cheese. The name “feta” has been granted a protected designation of origin, and only the Greeks may use it.

What was previously known as feta is these days known in Sweden as “medelhavsinspirerad ost” or “Mediterranean-inspired cheese”. Yeah, sure it is. Nice one, the EU muppets. And buying sports cars you can’t really afford will hereby be known as “Mediterranean-inspired pension planning”. Clap clap, another fantastic piece of EU legislation which cost a fortune to create and then required another fortune to be translated into every language, even bloody Gaelic.

Well I think it’s pretty simple. If it tastes, looks and smells like feta, then it’s feta. So put a sock in it Greece. Or do you want us to come over there and demand you stop making pizzas and instead make “Italian Circle Pie”?

So here’s the money. Enjoy. Buy all the ugly houses you want. Now hand over the fucking cheese.

/ paddy

 
24 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2010 in Idiots, Society

 

Tags: , , ,

24 responses to “Curd for Cash

  1. Bellis

    April 29, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Paddy,
    as you may realize, I could write a comment about five novels long about this blog post. I am, as you know, Greek/Swedish. I am in the middle of all this, here in Athens, enjoying the roulette of seeing what section of society is striking every day when I wake up and what we thus can’t avail ourselves of that day. The other week it was the taxi drivers. After them, the kiosk-owners. Then the boats leaving from Pireás to the islands. And then the underground. And so it goes, on and on, every day. Now, with the new measures imposed as a condition for the EU-money, the whole country is going on strike next week. The whole shebang.

    But the problem is, as you may know, far worse than it might look. It does not affect only Greece. Among others on their way down the drain are Ireland, as you surely know, and Portugal and Spain and… well, the list will be longer.

    As for the féta cheese, the thing is the same as with for example Bordeaux wine and Scotch whisky. The point is, the féta cheese you are referring to – the féta made in Denmark, for example – does not taste like féta. Trust me on this one. The Danish féta never tasted anything like Greek féta, and so far I have been unable to find really good féta made in another country than Greece. So there is some point to this, I think.

    You write:

    “If it tastes, looks and smells like feta, then it’s feta.”

    The point is, you see, it doesn’t taste, look and smell like féta, unless it really is féta. And if it is féta, it comes from Greece. So this is a pretty good way of ensuring that people actually get what they pay for. The real deal, not an imitation that might very well be a very good cheese in itself, but which is not féta.

    All the best,
    Bellis

     
    • Melliferax

      April 30, 2010 at 8:42 am

      Bellis, what magical property does the country of Greece possess that means cheese tastes differently if made there?

      And how much of the cheese-making process needs to happen in Greece for this magical essence to take? 100%? 90%? 50%? The start or the beginning? Can you take milk from animals that live in, say, Italy, and make the cheese in Greece and it’ll still be true feta, or do they have to graze on the magical Grecian soils?

      As you can probably surmise, my point is: If you make feta cheese in exactly the same way it’s made in Greece, it WILL taste the same. That non-greece cheeses don’t today has to do with the process, not the country of origin. Claiming anything else is simply ridiculous.

       
      • Rolf

        April 30, 2010 at 10:24 am

        http://www.greek-salad-recipes.com/greek-feta-cheese/ may perhaps give some of the answers.

        As for the protected feta, it seems some years ago one European country wanted to legally keep the name feta as a brand name for its cheese. The end result was that EU gave the right to Greece. As Bellis has already noticed, lots of locally produced stuff has been protected in the EU. The same goes for the champagne method, which is protected for Champagne. The Spanish call theirs “cava” I believe. At least you know where you got it from. It’s sparkling wine but not from Champagne.

        Bellis – have you tried the Swedish whisky Mackmyra? They are respected. I believe they wanted to do a Swedish whisky.

        Whisky or whiskey: http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/banff/story4.htm

        (The spell checker in my browser keeps insisting it should be spelled whiskey…)

        cheers/Rolf

         
  2. James

    April 29, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Surely, to go on strike you need a job in the first place so why are all these cock-adjusters on strike?

    You know, a young Spanish fella adjusted his cock at me a few days ago. Not having had a Franco inspired diet I tower over these Latin Leprechauns and he might have felt threatened by me.

    I guess a quick adjustment is the same as a dog barking. However, a barking dog can be judged as to how dangerous it is by a wag of the tail. Rather hard to determine that when a young fella is adjusting the bit that is meant to be wagging.

     
    • Bellis

      April 30, 2010 at 5:00 am

      Hm. Cock-adjusting is a quite typical latin macho-gesture. In Greece we’re not latin. Thinking about it, I can’t remember ever having seen somebody do this particular gesture here.

      Drive a hard,
      Bellis

       
      • paddyK

        April 30, 2010 at 9:46 am

        Let me just state, for the record, that I studied with a few young Greek guys and they were quite macho, misogynistic and homophobic guys. If most Greek guys are like them, then it sure as hell IS a macho culture.

        And if you want some stats about equality of men and women in Greece, try here:

        http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_gen_emp-people-gender-empowerment

         
  3. Bellis

    April 30, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Melliferax :
    Bellis, what magical property does the country of Greece possess that means cheese tastes differently if made there?
    And how much of the cheese-making process needs to happen in Greece for this magical essence to take? 100%? 90%? 50%? The start or the beginning? Can you take milk from animals that live in, say, Italy, and make the cheese in Greece and it’ll still be true feta, or do they have to graze on the magical Grecian soils?
    As you can probably surmise, my point is: If you make feta cheese in exactly the same way it’s made in Greece, it WILL taste the same. That non-greece cheeses don’t today has to do with the process, not the country of origin. Claiming anything else is simply ridiculous.

    Oh, but this is precisely what I meant. Obviously there is some essential component to the process that is unique to Greece. If it also has something to do with the sheep of Greece being in some way different I don’t know, but I wouldn’t wager on that one. Also, I don’t know what the difference in the process might be. No idea. I only know that the taste is different, being a huge fan of féta.

    It’s the same thing with single malt, Scotch whisky, for example. Although there are various brands of this kind of whisky from Scotland, with different tastes, there is always this unmistakable taste of Scotch, which they have not been able to duplicate in any other country. Not to insult Paddy, but Irish whiskies are flat out boring by comparison. I don’t exactly know why. I just know there is this difference in taste.

    All the best,
    Bellis

     
  4. Bellis

    April 30, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Come to think of it, Greek féta usually has a bit more taste of salt, for example. Sea salt. Might that be one of the reasons? Mediterranean sea salt, that we gather from the cliffs where it has gotten stuck when the waves are high, splashing in over the coast.

    But really, I don’t know. I’m speculating.

    I am getting interested in finding out, though, so I might get back to you on this one.

    All the best,
    Bellis

     
  5. Bellis

    April 30, 2010 at 10:13 am

    paddyK :
    Let me just state, for the record, that I studied with a few young Greek guys and they were quite macho, misogynistic and homophobic guys. If most Greek guys are like them, then it sure as hell IS a macho culture.
    And if you want some stats about equality of men and women in Greece, try here:
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_gen_emp-people-gender-empowerment

    Well, I was just talking about the particular cock adjusting gesture. We don’t use it here, although there are other gestures and signs of being macho.

    But it all boils down to how you view things.

    If these guys that you studied with were macho, misogynistic and homophobic, so be it. But would you honestly claim there are no Irish gusy of the same inclination…? Or French…? Or German…?

    The point is, one makes a mistake by casting a whole population in the same mould based on a few examples. Individuals are different. All over the world, in every country. There are macho, misogynistic, homophobic people everywhere, in Greece as well as in other countries. Be careful not to fall in the trap of becoming prejudiced yourself, basing your opinion on all Greeks on the basis of a few guys you’ve met.

    With that said, it varies. Crete, for example, sticks to a very conservative culture, quite paternalistic. Generally, speaking that is. The same goes for great parts of the mainland countryside.

    In the big cities, like Athens, the case is quite different. Here we have wintessed a quite astounding liberation of women during the last, say, twenty years. I’ll give you but one example.

    Twenty years ago, you would hardly ever see a woman in a nightclub without male “protection”, in the form of a brother or a cousin. Or, for that matter, a boyfriend. But not alone. These days, young women go to nightclubs alone, or in gangs.

    This might seem like a banal example, but it isn’t. Because the nightclub is what was generally be regarded as “dangerous” territory in more conservative days. So the fact that they are now there, en masse, is quite telling.

    And tell you one thing. If anybody is macho in Greece, nowadays, it’s the young women. They are often tougher and more independent than you could well imagine, and I frequently find mysyelf saddened to see how so many Swedish women are still a lot less tough and independent, in their daily lives.

    Once again, it is dangerous to generalize. I speak about trends, but I am not claiming that they include everyone.

    As for your stats, they are of course sad to behold, but compare to similar stats from twenty or thirty years ago, and you’ll see a difference for the better.

    All the best,
    Bellis

     
  6. Rolf

    April 30, 2010 at 10:43 am

    It seems there is an answer to the real feta taste:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feta

    “According to the [EU] Commission, the biodiversity of the land coupled with the special breeds of sheep and goats used for milk is what gives feta cheese a specific aroma and flavor.”

    cheers/Rolf

     
    • Bellis

      April 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

      Oh, thank you, Rolf. So it was the sheep after all. I wouldn’t have wagered on that one, but there you go.

      Also, I am happy to see that the brine actually is an integral component. Well, there you go, then. You know, you often buy féta in a block in a plastic box full of brine here in Greece. So that should maybe have been a no-brainer, but, well.

      Let me add, for those of you interested, that féta is best when served in huge slices in a salad, so you can cut yourself a large piece. Don’t go for having small pieces sprinkled over the salad – not the same effect at all. And be sure to pour lots of realy good olive oil (I would suggest Kalamáta oil) over the whole thing, but avoid wine vinegar.

      All the best,
      Bellis

       
  7. Rolf

    April 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

    It strikes me that this could be the basis of a new musical, like My Fair Lady. You know:

    The cheese in Greece
    is mainly in the fleece
    I think he knows it
    I think he knows it

    :-)

    cheers/Rolf

     
  8. paddyK

    April 30, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Bellis: Alright then, I feel it just has to be said. Number of words in my current blog entry: 286. Number of words in your replies to my blog entry: 1140. This is just getting a bit daft. So I need to ask you to cut down the size of your comments from now on.

    The reason? This is my soapbox, and while I expect and want people to reply, your comments are basically hogging the bandwidth. I suspect that other people are just not getting involved because the huge blocks of text in the comments are daunting. I don’t want my comments dominated by a couple of posters. I want fast and short comments, with a light and friendly tone. Not slabs of text giving one person’s opinion at great length.

    If you feel strongly about the issues I bring up, then by all means put them on your own blog, and I will hear about it. That’s how the blogosphere works. You can’t go using somebody else’s blog as your own forum to constantly tell us of your opinions. Comments means COMMENTS and not essays. And that’s how I want it.

    My blog, it feels, is becoming a soapbox for you and nobody else is getting a look in. And this would be fine, were it your blog. But it isn’t, it’s mine, and I decide how it works around here. So thanks for your comments, but keep them short, and snappy, and to the point. Thanks.

     
  9. Bellis

    May 1, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Oh, sorry about that. I had no idea, actually, because I don’t know how the blogosphere works at all, since I just read your blog. And I’ve been seeing people doing long comments here, so I thought it was ok. My own blog, I review movies and absolutely nothing else, so there it is.

    No problem or hard feelings, though, because you are quite naturally right when stating that this is your blog and you decide how it works. Of course.

    Most of your subjects are too interesteing for me to keep it very snappy, though, so it might be better that I spare you the comments, actually. If I did very snappy ones, they might also be quite vapid. I think so, actually.

    Never mind and all the best,
    Bellis

     
    • Melliferax

      May 1, 2010 at 9:12 am

      Maybe you should start a blog about something other than movie reviews, such as all the other opinions you have. That’s usually what people do in the blogosphere when they find themselves posting walls of texts on other people’s blogs. When you include a link to the entry that originally inspired you, something called a trackback happens (usually), which means there’s an automatic comment on the post alerting the author that someone linked to it. It’s quite nifty.

      Oh and yeah, sometimes posts call for long comments, like the Catholic letter ones, but a silly rant about feta cheese doesn’t really qualify as heavy discussion topic.

      (Now I must stop or I’ll hit tl;dr territory myself! :D )

       
  10. Bellis

    May 1, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Oh, snappy one, after all:

    Since you mention light and friendly tone, I do sincerely apologize if any of my comments came across as unfriendly. Please know that this has not been my intention, anyway.

    All the best,
    Bellis

     
    • paddyK

      May 1, 2010 at 9:16 am

      Not at all! Tone is fine, length was occasionally questionable. Spelling was also good.

       
  11. Rolf

    May 1, 2010 at 1:19 am

    paddyK :
    Bellis: Alright then, I feel it just has to be said. Number of words in my current blog entry: 286. Number of words in your replies to my blog entry: 1140. This is just getting a bit daft. So I need to ask you to cut down the size of your comments from now on.[snippety]

    Paddy, no offense intended I assure you, but aren’t you perhaps just a bit sensitive here? Giving long comments does not necessarily hog your bandwidth. If you are too much the martinet at demanding fast and short comments, you might end up daunting people into silence yourself. I don’t let Bellis shut me up, and I expect the same from other people, too… :-)

    Also, please remember that the substance of the comments to a blog is part of the value of the blog itself.

    cheers/Rolf

     
    • paddyK

      May 1, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Rolf: The point is that long comments DO shut people up. I know that when I read other blogs. I just can’t be bothered joining a discussion where each previous comment is several paragraphs long. People don’t have the time for that. And I don’t either.

      And YES! The substance of a blog IS the comments and I want as many as possible. And I really do think that shorter comments, with a single point or two, make for a better blog experience. Any other comments on this, people? Short ones…?

       
      • Melliferax

        May 1, 2010 at 9:17 am

        Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.

         
  12. moviehead

    May 1, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I’ll try for a final, reasonably snappy one, if that’s ok.

    I write a lot “to order”, so to speak, in my line of work and I find that it dampens my enthusiasm doing somewhat the same when joining the fray of interesting discussions. Please understand, this is not a criticism of your blog policy. You have every right to decide how your blog works. (The same goes for Melliferax and her blog, naturally: she had a similiar view on my comments, albeit for a wholly different reason. I respect that and do not question it.)

    I am glad and relieved that I have not involuntarily offended you by coming across as unfriendly. Thank you!

    Melliferax: what constitutes a subject for discussion might possibly vary, depending on point of view. For a Greek, féta is such a subject. Silly rant or not. Trust me on this one.

    ‘Nuff said! :-)

    All the best *and* drive a hard,
    Bellis

     
  13. Sir Pe

    May 2, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Paddy, I actually read your blog because you are such a good writer, write about interesting things, and have so many interesting fans that comment on your posts. So although perhaps Bellis’ comments might have been a tad on the long side, to me they still feel like they belong to the whole “PaddyK experience”.

    Besides, if he sticks around long enough, then one day I hope I’ll manage to figure out what “drive a hard” means ;-)

     
  14. ladyfi

    May 2, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Ha ha ha! But don’t worry… You’re not allowed to use the name ‘champagne’ either – only if it comes from the French region of Champagne… Everyone ignores this veto, and they will again.. so no need to get feta up!

     
  15. christinaseehusen

    May 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    LIKE

     

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