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Articulu di u numaru 2, marzu di u 2007

The small column of Petru VACHET NATALI


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THE HAM SYNDROME



Lately, as usual, the International Agricultural Show was held in Paris. All the candidates for the presidential election came one after the other, and at certain times, two ignoring each other at the same time, like flies attracted to manure! (It is true in that case!)

All wanted to show themselves, because French farmers are as numerous as starlings taking flight and it is necessary not to rub them up the wrong way! So, besides shaking hands with the voters, the candidates walked around the show, plunging the other ones hands into horses and donkeys' manes, stroking ewes and goats' fleeces or patting cows' rumps, while glancing admiringly and enviously at bulls' balls. (Men as well as women!)

Not everyone though! Because Mr. José Bové Esquire (farmer by trade and who wears quite well his name: French play-on-word Bové and bovin) stayed at home, as it is so true that it is necessary to care for animals day and night, seven days a week.

For thirty years now, Mr Jacques Chirac, either as a minister or as President of Republic, traditionally visits this show. This fair is very important because without farmers, we would still eat roots, wild grass and herbs or wild berries.

Corsica's stall was one of the most visited. It is necessary to say that here, products were top-grade. All the goods were well set and presented according to the rule book. When I say top-grade, it is to underline that all the products are not always of that quality in Corsica! Some people will sell you pigswill (in the true and figurative meaning of the word!) Indeed, last week, I bought a ficatellu (Corsican sausage made mainly of pig liver) to roast it while in the village.

It was true muck! The pig certainly came from somewhere else. As I usually do, I wanted to prick it with the fork so that the fat dripped on the bread: the skin was as hard as the rubbery skin of holothurians! Once cooked and cut a vile piece of tongue big enough to be able to distinguish the rough taste buds on it!! It is a shame! And there was enough coloring agents that even the cats did not want it!

The time has come and award quickly to pork meat and Corsican cooked pork meats the controlled label of origin (AOC), and to do some clean-up among the profession.

Back to quality products in Paris where Mr Stéphane Paquet, president of the CREPAC, offered the President of the Republic a ham without « wrapping or adorning"! Just a plain ham! A ham? Now, I wander if our porcine haunch will be displayed in the presidential gifts museum as for the other presents received by the President!

To me, I seem to live in the ancient time still, when to obtain an employment or a favor, we offered the influential elected member a ham. Sometimes it was sausages, coppe or lonzi (fillet of smoked pork), but the ham was the real symbol of "pulling of few strings"! In France, it was the one we offered to the doctors or surgeons hoping to be better looked after than the others!

Quite slowly, this custom got lost, but as you can notice, for example, this syndrome buried in the deepest of us even, maybe in our genes, is still here as a reflex! We shall call it the syndrome of the ham!!