Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Let em eat cake

Standing on the shoulders of Harry Lyme's famous maxim:

ln ltaly, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. But they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. ln Switzerland, they had brotherly love. They had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce ? The cuckoo clock.

Today's Euro-intellects declare:

The European Union has come up with a new way of selling itself to voters - cake.

To celebrate Europe Day - 9 May is the day a European union was first proposed - the EU's Austrian presidency took over a cafe in each capital to illustrate the continent's culinary richness.

The slogan: "Sweet Europe, let yourself be seduced..."

Europe has been searching for years for something to inspire a new generation of citizens - a generation unimpressed by 60 years of peace and the ending of the continents' Cold War divisions.

....The new Cafe d'Europe initiative substituted writers for music, debates for concerts and cake for chocolate.

The acceding countries, Bulgaria and Romania, were included, so the full menu ran to 27 cakes and pastries.

....Some of the contributions were predictable, from France madeleines, from Cyprus baklava, from Denmark Danish pastry.
Lithuania's bakers were conjuring up something resembling a hedgehog, called Sakotis, while Malta's were crafting a deep-fried date sandwich made from a dough containing red wine,

....At the London event, in Waterstone's bookshop cafe, one speaker lamented the fact that the fall of communism and the pressures of globalisation had driven some Polish national pastries - Krakowskie kremowki (millefeuilles) and W-Zetki (a cousin of tiramisu) - to the edge of extinction.

"Tiramisu is now easier to get in Warsaw than W-Zetki," she said. "I wonder why there is no process of sharing the rich diversity on the table with the rest of Europe?"

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