Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Kraft v. Cadburys: of chocolate & cheese smuggling

The ongoing acquisition of (British) Cadburys by (American) Kraft brings to mind recent history in the Campo de Gibraltar and on the Rock itself. Not so long ago, maybe forty years ago and before that, chocolate and cheese were two items that were smuggled at good profit from Gibraltar into Spain. Earlier in the 20th century, these and other goodies, including sugar and other essentials, were brought up into the Ronda mountains by mule - some of the places where they were watered and fed still exist in Jimena today much as they were then. More recently, and it must be said that until only a few years ago the quality of Spanish-made chocolate was abominable, Cadbury's bars and sweets were what brightened the eyes of children young and old. As for cheese, the preferred type of local Spanish households was queso de bola, or the red, round Ementhaler still sold all over Gib. Now, of course, you can buy the chocolate and any cheese at your local supermarket. Plus ça change.

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