Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Getting into the Christmas spirit ...

... a bit late but then I had to finish with the exams, and then sleep for 2 days to recover lost time in la la land and now am shopping (which I have not completely done with - yikes!) and wrapping (which I have just started - double yikes!!).

Anyhoo ... the heart gladdens with news of the Christmas Spirit from all over the world. For example, the homeless in Milan will be getting a rare treat this festive season - beluga caviare!! Always knew the Italians did things in style ;-) though I do wonder if those consuming this precious commodity will be able to appreciate its value/taste. I hope that they also get a hearty meal(s?) to go with the little black balls. My suggestion would have been to sell the little cans and then give the cash to charity. But maybe Italian red tape does not allow that sort of thing.

Down-and-outs and hard up pensioners in Milan will enjoy a rare Christmas treat this year: choice beluga caviar confiscated from traffickers. Italian police seized over 40 kg (88 lb) of the delicacy, worth some 400,000 euros ($558,300), from two men who last month smuggled it into the country from Poland for sale in the shops of Milan and the rest of the wealthy Lombardy region.

The head of the local forest police who carried out the raid kept the bounty in barrack fridges for several weeks, but realized it would soon go bad. "Tests showed us the food was still perfectly OK to eat but it couldn't be stored much longer, so we decided to give it to the poor," Juri Mantegazza told Milan daily Corriere della Sera.

A small amount of the sturgeons' eggs have been kept for further analysis while the rest has been sent to voluntary associations, charity kitchens and old people's homes. "Everything that comes our way is very welcome, even though most of our guests don't even know what those little black balls are," said Virginio Colmega, a priest who helps run the House of Charity in Milan.

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