Blessed Are the Cheese-Makers
How is life different in Italy than here?Some might say it boils down to this: The USA bails out Ford, Chrysler, and GM; Italy, where they tend to have more style in such matters, has announced it will bail out the Parmesan cheese industry.
Seems it costs more to make a pound of Parmesan these days than it does to buy it at the local supermercato, so Silvio Berlusconi's government says it's giving the dairymen of Parmigiano Reggiano some financial help to the tune of 50 million euros (U.S. $65 million) to get them through the world economic crisis.
(Read the full article here).
For anyone interested in higher economics, we've broken down some of the key differences between the U.S. and Italian bailouts by focusing on one of GM's cars and a chunk of parmesan cheese:
The U.S. bailout provides for: More Chevy Aveos (yeah, we never heard of them either).
The Italian bailout provides for: Less Parmesan cheese (the feds are buying up the cheese to artificially raise prices).
The Chevy Aveo: Launched in Korea under the name the Daewoo Kalo in 2002.
Parmigiano Reggiano: Launched in the 13th century, give or take a decade or so.
Point to Italy
Aveo wheel options: Two sizes, 14 inches and 15 inches.
Parmesan wheel otions: One size only.
Point to USA
Price of a 2009 Chevy Aveo (fully loaded): $6.01/lb.*
Price of a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano (fully aged): $4.43/lb.**
Point to Italy
Italy: 2 points
USA: 1 point
Tied: 1 point
* Based on a curb weight of 2,557 pounds and top MSRP of $15,365
** Based on the average top price of 7.50 euros (U.S. $9.75) per kilo