Friday, March 28, 2008

The Pope, Cheese, and Green Scaly Skin

Sometimes I marvel at the things the media thinks is newsworthy. Often they are simply random facts, other times interesting bits of trivia, or odd stories. Other times I marvel at the media's ability to get things wrong, especially religious stories, and their ability to take religious stories out of context and blow them out of proportion.

This is one such story: My comments in red.

Vatican City, 28 March (AKI) - Pope Benedict XVI is a big fan of buffalo mozzarella cheese, and eats it often reported Italian daily Il Messaggero on Friday. (This is trivia, not news)

Pope Benedict XVI reportedly likes simple dishes and often receives buffalo mozzarella cheese as a gift from bishops from the Campania region in southern Italy where the best buffalo mozzarella is produced. (More trivia. I am sure many people from the Campania region give cheese as gifts to people from other areas.)

The cheese is given to Benedict's policemen, who later 'discreetly' take the cheese to his apartment, Il Messaggero reported. (Uh-oh! Smuggling cheese. Why do I have a mental image of a cop smuggling cheese into the papal apartment under a black trenchcoat.)

Recently there have been fears the highly popular mozzarella cheese may have been contaminated by dioxins and other chemicals from illegally dumped toxic waste. (Great, so now we find out that the pope may be the victim of cheese poisoning. All kidding aside, there have been issues with this.)

Japan and South Korea have in recent days halted imports of buffalo mozzarella, and there are fears other countries could suspend imports. (Again, this is true)

In the supermarket located inside Vatican City, the dairy section is full of mozzarella cheese products from the southern region of Campania. (Even more shocking than the Vatican not banning the cheese is the fact that their supermarket sells cheese)

Reportedly, the cheese is prized among priests and nuns who visit the supermarket everyday to restock convents, institutes and monasteries. (Shocking! Priests and nuns prize cheese. What do they do with it?)

The cheese, prized for its subtle flavour, costs twice as much as mozzarella made with cows' milk. It is eaten on top of pizza and also alongside prosciutto or with sliced tomatoes and basil. (Oh, they EAT it! By the way, I learned about the wonders of buffalo mozzarella in Rome. It makes regular mozzarella, well, I don't want to think about regular mozzarella.)

Reportedly, and mozzarella cheese is often found in his plate, said Il Messaggero. (As it is found on on the plates of most residents of Italy.)

My conclusion: It's a slow news day when the media runs a story about how the Pope likes cheese.

Tommorow's headline: Vatican reports that Pope Benedict sleeps in a bed. Sorry, that is a article we will never see because everyone knows that priests and nuns are cyborgs created by the Vatican in an underground crypt under Castel Gandolfo. As the Ironic Catholic says, we Catholics "shed our green scaly skin at night and curl in a fetal position while we lull ourselves to sleep humming Gregorian chant". Sometimes I really wonder if people think that.

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