More than thirty thousand people were expected to visit one of the world's biggest cheese fairs this year in the French village of La Capelle.
GV: French External Trade minister Andre Rossi arriving watched by an crowd assembled outside exhibition hall and greeted (THREE SHOTS)
SV: Rossi walking past display of cheeses
GVS: Exhibition stands showing various cheeses
GVS: People being given and eating samples of cheeses (THREE SHOTS)
SV: People sampling wine
GV: Exhibition hall
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Background: More than thirty thousand people were expected to visit one of the world's biggest cheese fairs this year in the French village of La Capelle. The fair, which has gained an international reputation since it began ten years ago, opened on Sunday (September 4) to an eager crowd of connoisseurs.
SYNOPSIS: The French Minister of External Trade, Mr. Andre Rossi, was the star guest. Cheeses not only earns a lot of foreign exchange for the French treasury by being exported all over the world, but also have immense prestige value. They're generally recognised as probably the best anywhere.
More than 250 cheeses were on display at the fair, and they filled the atmosphere inside the hall with an all-pervading aroma. There's also some distinct rivalry among the cheese manufactures - with various regions closely copying others' products. Perhaps the best sample of competition is the Gruyere cheese, which comes form the Swiss border regions. But enterprising manufacturers in Britanny on the north coast, have used their recent milk surplus to make a nearly-identical product. Today, Britanny accounts for 40 per cent of the so-called Gruyere market.
The wine manufacturers were there too - perhaps reasoning that good cheese needs good wine to wash it down. But good as they were, they took second place - La Capelle was all about cheese.