Wake Up Call

U.S.-Made Cheeses May Be Forced to Stop Using Names Like Parmesan in European Deal

Now, we all knew Europe was snobby about cheese. According to NPR, one of the caveats of a new trade deal between the European Union and the United States could mean that American cheese makers would have to change their cheese classifications to remove any semblance of names that have "historical ties to Europe." So, exactly which cheese would be affected by the change?

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You can say goodbye to American Gruyere, Brie, Parmesan, Muenster, Gouda, Asiago, Gorgonzola, and more if the proposed measure in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU. As the single-largest cheese producing country in the world, the United States has been criticized for edging out other countries in the cheese game, with some countries even placing embargoes on American-made cheese to give their domestic cheeses a chance to compete.

While certain cheese names connote a proprietary process or bacterial aging component -- including Parmigiano Reggiano and Roquefort -- other names merely are classifications that technically can be replicated globally and are not region-specific. If the EU really wants its cheese names, it can have them -- we'll just be over here making a bunch of really tasty cheeses with cool new names.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch