"Fonduegate" sparks row of international proportions

A Beaufort cellar in the French Alps
A Beaufort cellar in the French Alps -
Florian Pepellin
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In a dispute that has strained the entente cordiale, a Parisian cheesemonger and a British journalist living in Paris have come to blows over a fondue.

Ben McPartland, the editor of The Local in France, wanted to buy three sorts of cheese for a fondue he was planning to make. But the owner of the cheese shop he visited refused to sell him any of his 2015 vintage Beaufort because he believed it was "too tasty" to be melted down.

The discussion became quite heated but, eventually, the cheesemonger agreed to sell some of the Beaufort on condition that it was not used in the fondue. For MrPartland the episode neatly encapsulated both the French attitude to food and its scorn for the idea that the customer is always right.

A twitter storm soon took hold using the hashtag #fonduegate, with many French commentators springing to the defence of their principled compatriot.

French broadsheet Le Monde covered the story with mock solemnity, and in the UK the Telegraph ran with it, too. Even the diplomats weighed in, with the French Ambassador to Sweden, David Cvach, sitting on the fence:

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