Archive for the ‘Baie des Ha Ha’ Category

Divers Look For Cheese

August 5, 2005

Every once in a while a story comes to my attention that can’t possibly live up to the title, and you just want to walk away, like Joe Malik in “Schrodinger’s Cat” with the “No Wife, No Horse, No Mustache” article . . . I thought this would be one of those, but it is actually quite amusing in it’s own right. Diving for cheese should become a concept like Praying for Peace and Bowling for Dollars . . . next up, Diving for Cheese . . .

Not only that, though, but the story takes place in a location here in Canada I had never heard of, Baie des Ha! Ha! . . . is there possibly a better title for a place than that? Big Mama, if you are reading this: We need to move to Baie des Ha! Ha! – I don’t even want to know the story behind the name.

Anyway, without further ado, here is Diving For Cheese:

Cheese-maker Luc Boivin threw 800kg (1,700lb) of cheese in the Baie des Ha! Ha! in Quebec late last year, believing it would improve the taste.

However, food hygiene inspectors say Mr Boivin cannot sell his cheese without rigorous health testing.

And before it can be tested or sold, it must be found, and divers have so far failed, in the 40m (130ft) deep lake.

Mr Boivin’s divers hope to satisfy the food standards authorities by finding the cheddar and taking samples from the cheese during its ageing process on the lake floor.

He suspects that the increased pressure and low temperatures at extreme depths accelerate the cheese-ageing process while keeping it perfectly cool.

“A few years ago, a fisherman came to us and said he’d found a piece of Boivin cheese at the bottom of a lake where he’d been diving,” Mr Boivin told the AFP news agency.

“He took it, hesitated, ate it and told us it was one of the best cheeses he’d ever eaten.”

His unorthodox decision aroused the ire of Canada’s food standards authorities.

They insisted that cheese production must be carried out in licensed, fully hygienic facilities, which rules out the bottom of a lake.

“We understand Mr Boivin’s goal and we’re open to innovation,” Normand Giguere, a Quebec provincial food scientist told Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper.

“But he has to respect Canadian regulations. This is a first.”

The underwater search for the cheese was inspired by the need to test whether the inhospitable conditions are actually helpful to healthy cheese consumption.

Yet after three dives, there is so far no cheese to be seen.

“We know where the treasure is,” Mr Boivin said, “but it’s tougher than we thought to find it.”


Hail Eris, who hides the cheese, and hail to me, who cuts it.