Cheesed-off politico sparks Mimolette craze

5th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

TOKYO, Sept 4 (AFP) - A cheesed-off Japanese politician has sparked a craze for a French variety called Mimolette after complaining publicly about Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's shortcomings as a host.

TOKYO, Sept 4 (AFP) - A cheesed-off Japanese politician has sparked a craze for a French variety called Mimolette after complaining publicly about Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's shortcomings as a host.

Sales of Mimolette more than doubled in August at a Tokyo branch of Takashimaya department store following the remarks, the Sports Nippon tabloid said Sunday.

The cheese, selling at 578 yen (about five dollars) per 100 grams (3.5 ounces) for an 18-month-old type at Takashimaya, was little known here until Koizumi called an early election last month.

Yoshiro Mori, Koizumi's predecessor as prime minister and an ally, met the premier privately but failed to dissuade him from calling the snap poll.

An apparently miffed Mori, holding a slice of cheese as he left the meeting, complained to reporters that Koizumi had only served him beer, hard cheese and salmon.

Mori said he had been expecting sushi or something similar because the meeting took place at dinner time.

After the media reported Mori's complaint, the cheese -- whose price and flavour increases as it ages and hardens -- came under the spotlight with celebrities tasting it on television. Inquiries from shoppers surged.

"Do you have the cheese of former prime minister Mori?" or "Do you have the dried cheese?" the paper quoted them as saying.

Mori and Koizumi mended fences after Koizumi served Mori a full -- Japanese -- meal at a later meeting.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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