Note to self: Don't anger Poland's deputy defense minister, or he'll remind you about your country's uncouth eating habits from the 1500s. That was Bartosz Kownacki's reaction after France apparently rescinded Poland's invite to the Euronaval maritime defense fair next week, the Guardian reports. And that disinvite was because Poland apparently backed out of buying 50 Airbus helicopters and decided to buy US Black Hawks instead; France was said to be backing the original Airbus deal, per the BBC. But while the dialogue started to take a turn for the worse regarding the choppers and the negotiations, it's Kownacki's comments on a particular dining utensil that's now causing a commotion.
"These are the people we taught to eat with a fork a couple of centuries ago, which may explain their behavior today," Kownacki sniffed to the TVN24 network, via RT.com. "This is obvious history, and I invite you to read up on that." He was referring to the story that King Henry III of France eagerly introduced the fork to the French population after he first came across it in Poland while he was king there. Historians aren't sure if this is how it actually happened, though, noting Henry also may have stumbled across the fork in Venice. Either way, some aren't happy with Kownacki's dining diss, with a member of Poland's Law and Justice Party calling his remarks "unfortunate," while a Polish weekly notes, "Minister Kownacki is perhaps the first politician to commit diplomatic suicide by fork." (A first-grader was suspended for the eating utensil he brought to school.)