Friday, January 22, 2010

Chef's Smuggling Donkey Salami? Funny...........

Another great blogger from The, Free membership required to vew blogs.  Click the Title Link above for original blog source.................
  Chef’s Table
By: Michael Formichella

Chefs caught smuggling meat
"I just finished reading a story on the Internet about the escapades of several chefs trying to smuggle charcuterie back into the United States from abroad. Mind you, rules are tougher after the Christmas Day bomb debunking.  The bomb didn't explode, but it spurred demand for pat-down searches, body scans and more-meticulous baggage examinations for airline passengers headed for the U.S.
One chef was thwarted at the gate by customs and his bags were confiscated for attempting to smuggle in salami made from donkey meat, which was hidden in shoes buried in his luggage. This particular chef swears his motivation was merely educational: he was taking the sample back to reverse engineer the process and recreate the product for his own business.
Our government isn't moved by these interests. Sausages and hams "are much more dangerous than people think," says Janice Mosher, an official at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which seizes about 4,000 pounds of prohibited meat, plant and animal products per day. "Those items truly have the ability to spread disease." The government is concerned that bacteria from a smuggled piece of meat will spread through the ecosystem, infecting livestock and hurting agricultural production, Ms. Mosher says, as quoted by the New York Times.
Many years ago I was on assignment in Gander, Newfoundland – way, way up north, above Nova Scotia. We stayed at a small bed and breakfast during our trip, and the owner of the establishment shared some of her prized moose and caribou meat, which she had canned. Upon my return to the states I was singled out of 75 passengers to be inspected, of course. Now, this was before 9-11 and customs were fairly loose then. Upon opening my baggage the officer found the two marked, unlabeled cans of mystery game meats. One beared a big M, the other a big C. "What is this?" he asked, thinking I don't know what. I responded matter-of-factly, "Moose and caribou, of course."  Well, after a twenty-minute lecture on smuggling contraband I was released with my cans of meat and told never to do this again.
 My question is, should we be allowed to bring small amounts of cured meats into this country for our own personal consumption? There are such amazing products that we can't get here in the US. Do we have to only eat these items when we visit and then dream about them in between?
Will I now be put on a permanent checklist for extra screening when I go through customs?"