Cheesy bailout: Italy aids Parmesan-makers

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While the America throws money at its banks and withholds it from its auto-makers, the Italian government has come to the rescue of parmigiano cheese.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Italian government is buying 100,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano and 100,000 wheels of the grating variety, Grana Padano, and donating them to charity, at a cost of 50 million pounds.

Is Parmesan a more worthy cause than mortgages or cars? Who knows. But the government's step has stirred jealousy among other cheesemakers, including producers of buffalo mozzerella, which has lost 18 percent of its sales in the last year.

While I'm glad to hear the less-fortunates will be dining on high-quality food, I think if both the Parmesan and buffalo mozzerella industries were drowning and I had one lifeboat, I might send it out for the latter.


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