National milk

Why on earth do people pay 60-80% over the odds for “Catalan” brands?

"You won't find another field like this."

I’ve become quite good at avoiding Cataloony catechists, Polish Catholics, Himalayan salt fiends, and other deadly boring fetichists of the non-existent, but got caught out the other night.

There are no surprises in such conversations, but I’m still always amused at the horror elicited in the former by the commonsense declaration that I’d never go into a shop with a flag on it, such symbols for me being a clear indication that the vendor can’t compete on quality or price.

This Australian premium vs inhouse milk research would surely replicate almost exactly here, and the temptation, as with, for example, the various “Italian” olive oil scandals, to sell generic product (retail: €0.50-0.55/l) at premium rates (€0.85-0.95/l) must be rather monstrous.

However, judging by the space allocated to supposedly regional national milk on supermarket shelves there are still plenty of well-off jingoist scoundrels and chauvinist fools willing to pay almost twice as much, even if the cows do actually get up at 4 in the morning to salute the flag and sing rousing songs in Southern Occitan about trampling their Castilian sisters.

Cataloony culture is a generally unconscious echo of the Una, Grande y Libre mediocrities of a very long time ago, almost as long as Quevedo, who at least could write:

Miré los muros de la patria mía,
si un tiempo fuertes ya desmoronados
de la carrera de la edad cansados
por quien caduca ya su valentía.

Salíme al campo: vi que el sol bebía
los arroyos del hielo desatados,
y del monte quejosos los ganados
que con sombras hurtó su luz al día.

Entré en mi casa: vi que amancillada
de anciana habitación era despojos,
mi báculo más corvo y menos fuerte.

Vencida de la edad sentí mi espada,
y no hallé cosa en que poner los ojos
que no fuese recuerdo de la muerte.

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  1. We buy Letona because it’s the only fresh/non-UHT semi-skimmed option available. And when it’s not available, Pascual or whatever. Used to get Llet Nostra (yeah) but it’s shit.

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