Browsing the brocante market in the French town of Bergerac, our friend Carla spots a bargain.
It’s a Laguiole sommelier’s knife, brand new, still in its box. In a typically kind and generous gesture, she buys it (‘for a song,’ she assures us) and presents it to me as a gift.
I’m delighted to have it. Another knowledgeable friend had advised us to visit Laguiole, where for centuries such knives have been made and sold. Unfortunately we weren’t able to include it on the itinerary of this French road trip. But now I’m the proud owner of a Laguiole knife – normally retailing for something over EUR150.
It’s only on close inspection that we find the little plastic label stuck on the blade – ‘Fabrique en chine’. Merde!
Mevrouw T does a little googling and discovers the following:
“Laguiole” is not a reference to a specific company. Instead, it describes a style of knife…the name “Laguiole” was never patented and many companies use the term…”
Does it matter that my new toy was made in China? It’s an elegant thing, it came from France, ‘Laguiole’ is spelled correctly on both knife and packaging (no mean feat, I know!) and someone even had the decency to write the ‘Made in China’ label in French.
And it does a very fine job of pulling the cork out of a bottle of Bergerac wine.