Italian PM Insults Finnish Cuisine
Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, managed to upset the Finns on Tuesday by insulting the cuisine of Finland; which Italy beat to host the new European Food Safety Authority.
Berlusconi told local dignitaries, ahead of the inauguration of the EFSA in the northern Italian town of Parma:
"I've been to Finland and I had to endure the Finnish diet so I am in a position to make a comparison,"
At the opening ceremony European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, would have the chance to sample Parma's famous smoked ham, Berlusconi said; and see for himself that it was better than traditional Finnish food.
"Barroso today will be able to taste our 'culatello' as opposed to smoked herrings from Finland,".
Berlusconi reportedly told a summit of European leaders in December 2001:
"Parma is synonymous with good cuisine. The Finns don't even know what prosciutto is."
I would advise the PM not to make so free with his insults. I have worked in Finland, and can tell him that the Finns are not to be messed with.