Postcard from... Montferrat
The black puddings were coiled on a table, and served with chips. The spicy mulled wine had a hint of orange. But when Jean-Michel invited about 20 friends to his fête du cochon, to celebrate the slaughter of a pig, they were actually attending a semi-clandestine party.
The butcher was dressed in camouflage. On Friday night, he had slaughtered the pig which had been left to hang in the garage. By Saturday lunchtime, 144 saucissons were drying in the garage.
In the hills of Montferrat, 22 miles from Grenoble at the foot of the Alps, farmers traditionally used to slaughter one of their pigs in winter, when the cold helps to preserve the meat. But with a decline in local farming, Jean-Michel had bought his pig at a market. The blood – which must be cooked as soon as possible – was poured into gut casing and the blood puddings boiled in a vat.
But EU food hygiene laws are threatening the tradition. Pigs are supposed to be slaughtered in an abbatoir in most cases and their meat prepared in approved conditions. “Who knows how long the tradition will carry on?” said one guest. “The EU is killing it.”
So far the people of the Isère region are not deterred. Jean-Michel pointed to a man sipping mulled wine. “You see him? He’s having a fête du cochon next weekend,” he said.
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
£30k - 38k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An award-winning consume...
£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...
£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...
£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...