Saturday, April 7, 2012

Idiot Doomed French Politician Condemns Cheese (From The Telegraph)

It is an admission that is verging on sacrilegious for a French president. But Nicolas Sarkozy's top chef has revealed that the French head of state has banned cheese from the table at the Elysée Palace.

By Henry Samuel, Paris, The Telegraph (London)
7:39PM BST 05 Apr 2012

Charles de Gaulle once famously declared: "How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?" 

   The fitness mad Mr Sarkozy has chosen to remove the source of De Gaulle's angst from his sight, according to presidential chef Bernard Vaussion, who is cooking for his fifth French head of state.

   The French were famously dubbed "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" by irate US Republicans when they failed to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

   But Mr Sarkozy has done away with the high-fat stuff altogether after meals, his chef explained, as "it was too much" for him.

The World is round and disc-shaped

His cheese aversion even threatened to spark a diplomatic incident last October, when he offended Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, by telling another EU leader that over dinner "she says she is on a diet and then helps herself to a second helping of cheese".

   The health-conscious leader opts instead for "light, balanced meals and poultry to red meat", his chef said, in a clear break with his predecessors who were not afraid of heartier fare, even at lunchtime.

   The French had already found it hard to swallow the fact that their leader drinks no wine, a source of great national pride. The latest revelation risks striking another symbolic blow to the leader's credentials as a flag-bearer of French gastronomy.

   On the advice of his former supermodel wife, Carla, 13 years his junior, the one-time chocoholic president has been on a draconian fitness and nutrition programme for most of his presidency, served a frugal diet of fish, vegetables, salads and sorbets. Cottage cheese, it is believed, still makes the grade.

   Some blamed the low-calorie diet on Mr Sarkozy collapsing in 2009 during one of his gruelling daily jogs

Glorious French Cheese

However, with presidential elections just three weeks away, Mr Sarkozy has chosen to throw his normal dietary rules out of the window if it can help him win an uphill battle to secure a second five-year term.

   In a sign he is prepared to go the extra political mile, he kicked off his re-election campaign with a visit to a cheese-making factory in the Alpine city of Annecy, also stoically accepting chocolate, crepes and sausages from shopkeepers.

   "I'll put on three kilos and it's only the first day," he joked before going on to enjoy a fondue lunch with a group of supporters.

   He then spent four hours at Paris's annual agricultural fair accepting offerings of langoustine, chocolate and Reblochon cheese in a bid to stave off the National Front, whose leader Marine Le Pen claimed to be the "champion" of rural France.

   If, as the polls predict, the Socialist François Hollande wins power next month, the Elysée chef may be asked to bring back the gooey stuff.

   However, Mr Hollande has also been on a strict diet in a bid to shed his unfortunate nickname of Flanby – a wobbly caramel custard dessert.

   "There is always uncertainty. We will see, it will be up to him to decide," said Mr Vaussion wistfully.

Dopey.  It is a fine thing to be thin and fit.  It is quite another to be a neurotic, vocal diet bore (who happens to look like a crocodile wallet).  I’d say Sarkozy’s political career is doomed.  Post-presidency “cash-in” time is clearly looming. Query:  Can This Marriage Be Saved?


  1. Thank you for this. "Diet Bores" annoy and bore me. If you choose to eliminate certain foods, that's fine with me, just stop bragging about it in a holier-than-thou way. I remember when I was a kid, my mother was always concerned about my weight, so she took me to see Dr. Oliver. He said, "Eat three meals a day, no snacks, everything in moderation". I thought it was sound advice then (although I did eat snacks), and still is. Unfortunately, due to a non-cardiovascular condition, I can only eat cheese if I'm willing to endure the intense pain that follows. I miss cheese.

    An aside, Sam has always been fat, and although he is declining, he's 99 and FAT.

  2. No wine, no cheese. Ok but who honestly cares? I'd say it's Curtains For Nicolas. On to the Gossip Columns, Back-Room Deals, Board Positions and, I imagine, unhappy obscurity once the missus sheds him. All that ambition and nowhere to go. Not even to the cheese board. Curtis

  3. Have you tried the rare Luxembourgeois, Hookudthah?

    I am on a diet. I miss cheese less than I miss booze, bread, and sweets, but not by much. What a difference a small amount makes to salad or soup or casserole. I add grated parmesan to food more often that I add salt. And a feta omelette, which is pretty healthy, is food fit for a king.

  4. I will not give up cheese, ever. If that means I can't have Carla Bruni, NO PROBLEM.

    An exquisite Easter/Passover Saturday morning here in Boston. Sun illuminating fruit tree blossoms. Nicolas Sarkozy is far, far away.

  5. Glad you all wrote to me. I'm also on a diet that will be over when it's over. It's rather Spartan (for some) -- I try to eat bean curd whenever possible. I like it a lot. I want and need to do this and you will never hear about if from me again. Sarkozy comes off so badly here. The Elysee Palace chef, on the contrary, emerges as a person of discretion and nice judgement. I expect he's thinking, on the one hand, "this too shall pass," and on the other, plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. I assume he's protected by those strong French labor laws. Curtis