Europe Parmesan Requesting a Name Change

By: Ann Casano - March 12, 2014

Europe called and it wants its Parmesan Cheese back.

If the European Union has its way, the names of European cheeses like Brie, Feta, Fontina, Muenster, Asiago, Romano, Gorgonzola, and Parmesan will be called something else when they are made outside of their home countries. Why? The Europeans don’t think that American-made cheeses are the real deal, so they shouldn’t be labelled as such. They also argue that the pseudo-cheeses made in the United States cut into sales and hurt the profits of the cheesemaker’s in Europe.

U.S. cheesemaker Errico Auricchio is finding humor in Europe’s request for a name change. He wants to know if he should rename his Parmesan, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Parmesan.”

Like the French argue that real Champagne only comes from France, European cheesemakers are using that same line of reasoning. So a “real Parmesan” should only come from Parma, Italy and a “real feta” should only be made in Greece.

U.S. dairy farmers and any company or manufacturer that has its hand in the cheese business is balking at the European Union’s request. Jim Mulhern, who represents U.S. dairy farmers, had this to say, “It’s really stunning that the Europeans are trying to claw back products made popular in other countries.”

If changing the names of our beloved cheeses sounds a bit crazy to you, please note that the European Union is taking the charge seriously. In fact, they’ve already got Canada to label their products with names like ,”feta-style,” or “feta-like.” However, the United States is not going to cave into European demands without a fight. A group of 55 senators has already requested that the proposal by the European Union be denied.

But just in case the United States gives in, would you please pass the Salty Shaky Grated Cheese so I can enjoy my slice of pizza?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

About the Author

Ann CasanoAnn Casano is a freelance writer from the heart of Jersey. She is the proud Momma of a Corgi named Sugaree. Follow her on Twitter: @annmcasano.

View all posts by Ann Casano