Yoan Valat / Pool via Reuters
President Nicolas Sarkozy visits a cheese factory in Vallieres in the French Alps on Feb. 16.
It’s a matter of (spurious) debate if France’s president is a “surrender monkey,” but one thing seems clear: He is no longer cheese-eating.
Nicolas Sarkozy decided to stop savoring "le fromage" after meals, the AFP reported in an article on the kitchens at the presidential Elysee Palace. His chef said Sarkozy was trying to eat healthily, preferring "light, balanced meals and poultry to red meat," AFP added.
The term “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” was first used on "The Simpsons" and was popularized by National Review journalist Jonah Goldberg, who claimed he had made it “an accepted term in official diplomatic channels around the globe.”
Most French people would surely object to the idea of being “surrender monkeys,” but they would likely embrace the term “cheese-eating” wholeheartedly.
The variety and flavor of cheeses to be found across France is a matter of national and regional pride, a subject that can fire considerable passion.
As the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper noted, Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French forces during the Second World War and later president, once declared, “How can anyone govern a nation that has 246 different kinds of cheese?”
It remains to be seen if a non-cheese-eating leader is acceptable to the French electorate, who will decide whether Sarkozy remains in the Elysee in presidential elections in just three weeks’ time.
It's been a tough reelection fight for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been trailing in the polls, but the recent Toulouse terror attacks and Sarkozy's sharp swing to the right have given him at least a temporary boost. ITV's James Mates reports.
Presidential chef Bernard Vaussion, who has cooked for five French presidents, may have made an inadvertent intervention into the world of politics by declaring that cheese was “too much” for Sarkozy, as reported by the Telegraph’s Paris correspondent Henry Samuel.
Samuel also noted Sarkozy had caused a minor diplomatic incident in October last year when he remarked to another European leader that German Chancellor Angela Merkel “says she is on a diet and then helps herself to a second helping of cheese.”
An anti-cheese French president? Quelle horreur!
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