Well, OK, they responded to my silly questions. Nine hours is a long stretch of time — Paris/Chicago — so I wandered around the plane asking the attendants what they brought home to the United States from Paris.
It was unanimous. Every one, without exception, on every trip, brings home salted butter. Now, I thought salted butter wouldn’t pass by the dogs. (There was a really cute, very busy beagle working at O’Hare upon my arrival.) I also thought it was considered in the broad classification of “farm products.” You know, those lines on the card we must fill out about hanging out on farms and/or trying to smuggle products from said dangerous locations into the USA, the squares where we always check “No”?
They all said French butter did not fall into that category. I didn’t press the issue because I know that crew members do not fall into the category of regular passengers going through customs.
Next time, I think I’ll test my theory. I’ll try to transport butter with sea salt crystals into this country. If I don’t make it through the first line of defense — the dogs — some lucky customs officer will have a delightful treat. I trust there won’t be a fine involved. I’ll investigate and interrogate the flight crew on my way back to France.