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Europe wants the US to stop claiming to make European cheeses

http://consumerist.com/2014/03/11/sho...

'“Muenster is Muenster, no matter how you slice it,” he said, added Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.'

By that reasoning, any sweet yellow onion could be called a Vidalia. It's just a name, right?

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  1. Or Hatch Chiles from New Mexico. Olathe corn - Kansas or Colorado? My Australian Fosters Ale is brewed in Fort Worth. Numerous varieties of Cohiba cigars and Havana Club rum have never been to Cuba. Works both ways!

    1. Actually, most of the Muenster made here is very
      different from that produced in Europe.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ferventfoodie

        This was my first thought, Muenster is not Munster.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          If I could tell that to Fred and Gaynor Gwynne I would.

      2. Cows milk feta is not feta. Not from denmark, france, england, or the US

        11 Replies
        1. re: Gastronomos

          Don't get me started on feta - and while cows milk feta may not be feta, the PDO on feta is not something I can remotely sign onto. The feta making tradition has spread way beyond the regions in Greece limited in the PDO.

          Where I think the European guidelines get weak is that they are too quick to tie "produced in this specific region" to "produced in this specific way". Another really dumb case was when Newcastle ale moved their factory across the river and then had to go through all of those EU hurdles to keep their own name.

          Now I get that there can be a strong connection to "product grown in a region specifically influences flavor of grape, meat, etc". But with cheese, too often it's just clung to regions out of history/tradition without promoting to a higher height the technique and process of how the cheese is made. In the US in the 19th century, bourbon makers tried to tie the name bourbon with the booze being made in Kentucky. However that stipulation was rejected in favor of sticking more with how bourbon was made.

          If a region can show that their specific air, water, soil, yeast, etc influences how a final product turns out - I'm open to those arguments. But if you're limiting your feta consumption to PDO Greek feta, you're missing out on some really great "feta".

          1. re: cresyd

            what do you say about the 'parmasan' cheese produced in the north of Greece?

            I find it much, much tastier than the PDO that comes to the USA and if I can't get it sometimes I reach for Grana Padana which, is the same cheese, by your definition, but actually tastier.

            1. re: Gastronomos

              I am not well versed on parmesan, and so my complaint is strictly with feta. I believe that feta is like cheddar. I believe that the "feta" made in Cyprus and Bulgaria has a strong tradition that isn't something to disregard. If there was a PDO for Greek Feta, fine. But "feta" as a whole. Nope.

              1. re: cresyd

                what do they call feta in bulgaria?

                1. re: Gastronomos

                  I was in Bulgaria before they joined the EU - so in that regard, I'm not helpful.

                  1. re: Gastronomos

                    Bulgarians usually just call feta "syrene" (or some similar spelling) That translates to "cheese" in English, the full name is "white cheese". It's been ubiquitous in Bulgaria since the Bulgarians were the Thracians.

                    1. re: caganer

                      LOL

                      1. re: caganer

                        Given the long histories of the area within modern day Greece and modern day Bulgaria - neither country can truly prove who's cheese (or feta) came first. Once you start brining Odysseys into your legal arguments, it's harder to draw a line in the sand.

                      2. re: Gastronomos

                        The usual dodge round PDO cheeses not made in the PDO area is to describe it as, say, "Greek style cheese". Everyone knows what you mean.

                        1. re: Harters

                          Fair enough.

                      3. re: cresyd

                        Agreed. There ARE some specific cheeses, and other goods, which have "transcended" one specific place. Feta is one. Yogurt is another -- look at the legal arguments between Fage and Chobani: http://www.dairyreporter.com/Regulati...

                        French feta, Greek feta, Bulgarian feta, Israeli feta . . . it goes on and on.

                        I have no issue with saying "Greek-styled Yogurt," for example, but . . . .

                2. Within Europe, these and many other cheeses (e.g. Stilton) and other foods already have protected name status - I forget the legal term - so that if one buys a particular product one can be confident that it came from the declared area. Most cheese (in particular) styles are intensely regional, and having this legal protection means that when we buy cheeses we know that we are getting what we expect. It also protects smaller, local producers from big commercial dairies elsewhere! It's not the style that's protected (so there are a lot of cheddar-like hard cheeses that can be used interchangeably with actual cheddar), but the name; which is I assume what is being argued for here.

                  I actually thought that the legislation already covered at least trademarks globally, so am surprised that its only just being enforced.

                  To put a positive spin on it, the EU are trying to ensure that your experiences of Parmesan, Feta &c are what it is meant to be. Conversely, it's effectively protectionism...

                  I would argue that what is really needed is for US dairies to be develop their own regional cheeses, which could then develop their own brand image and would start to be exported back to Europe and intermingled with European classics.

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: DavidPonting

                    Global trademarks are acknowledged and practiced by countries mostly populated by gentlemen. Not all countries are. The World Court in the Hague finds the Cuban objections to it's trademark rights and violations laughable, as Cuba is not a signatory to any global trade agreements.
                    Even an innocuous subject as cheese causes friction between the US and France, often involving tit-for-tat trade barriers with other food products.
                    But yes, a group of us did enjoy my Mimolette cheese last Sunday, which I bought before the mite ban.

                    1. re: DavidPonting

                      I read a very recent article about the abundance of excellent cheese makers in the US, but the dilemma is the unlikelihood they could achieve a level of production for export quantities, and still maintain their quality standards. A difficult quandary. Aside from Cabot and Maytag, maybe Humboldt Fog, I can't think of many.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Just googled those - I'll have to try some sometime; they look pretty interesting!

                        I did of course make a mistake in my post, which is that "cheddar" is actually not protected (It was late at night and I just picked the first popular cheese that came to mind), rather "West Country Farmhouse Cheddar" is the legally protected name. If anyone is interested, this is the full list according to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category... (note that the word "parmesan" isn't on the list either, since it's a translation of the true name Parmigiano-Reggiano, but the law still covers it).

                        1. re: DavidPonting

                          David

                          The reason why "Cheddar" isnt protected is that it had become so widespread across the globe before the name protection legislation was introduced in the EU.

                          We have a number of labelling protocols. Some are Protected Designation of Origin (like Buxton Blue cheese, or Swaledale) or the wider Protected Geographical Indication (such as Teviotdale cheese) or Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (such as Traditonally Farmed Gloucestershire Old Spot Pork).

                          By the by, Heineken had to give up its PGI status for Newscastle Brown Ale when it moved production away from Newcastle.

                          It's not just cheese , of course. PDO/PGI status applies to a wide range of products - from the Cornish pasty to Jersey Royal potaoes.

                          Of course, our legislation only applies within the EU borders and, much as we may not like it, the rest of the world is free to make its own blue cheese and call it Stilton if it wishes.

                          1. re: Harters

                            American made Stilton? Purists would burn them to the ground. Egregious deception.

                            1. re: Veggo

                              Just by the by, Veggo, the PDO on Stilton restricts how and where it is made. One of the restrictions is that it must be made with pasteurised milk. I think there's also a restriction on rennet type.

                              There's now a producer in the geographical area who makes a blue cheese with unpasteurised and a different rennet but, other than that, exactly as a Stilton is made. They call it Stichelton. It's very, very good (although not my favourite British blue cheese - that would be Blacksticks Blue - a blue Lancashire)

                              1. re: Harters

                                "[A]lthough not my favourite British blue cheese - that would be Blacksticks Blue - a blue Lancashire"

                                I respect you very much, Harters, but everybody knows the best British blue cheese is made in Wisconsin.

                                1. re: MGZ

                                  MGZ, those are fightin' words!
                                  I heard rumors that St. Agur blue was developed in the last 25 years for non-French preferences for creamy, high butterfat blues, and I sure fell for it. I can't get enough.

                                  1. re: MGZ

                                    Ah, that may well be the best, but its not my favourite ( or favorite, even)

                                  2. re: Harters

                                    As you probably know John, Stichelton is made by Joe Schneider, an American, which rather makes me smile when these sort of discussions take place. I must try some Blacksticks if it's that good.

                                    1. re: Robin Joy

                                      Hi Robin. No, I didnt know he was American - there's something of an irony in that, as you say.

                                      Well worth a try at the Blacksticks - nice & creamy but with a decent kick from the blueing. They've recently started to do sheep and goats milk versions which I havnt yet tried - sold as Blacksticks Silk and Velvet.

                                  3. re: Veggo

                                    Sort of - if modern stilton were the same cheese as stilton was before they started using pasteurized milk, (I can't say but people old enough to remember have told me it isn't.)
                                    If you can find it, try a piece of stichelton next to a piece of today's stilton. There's a noticable difference (stichelton is basically stilton made with raw milk, in the same part of England by the same method).
                                    Then try some Bayley Hazen from Jasper Hill in Vermont. It's an American "stilton" that's every bit as good a cheese as any stilton being made today.

                                    1. re: caganer

                                      My favorite Vermont Stilton wannabee is Gore-Dawn-Zola from Boucher Farm.

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        And he good new is Bayley Hayle and Gore Dawn Zola are known by their own names not as Stilton. Good cheeses deserve their own name recognition, and low quality mass produced cheeses, should borrow others names i.e. Stilton.

                                        1. re: PhilD

                                          Stilton wannabee was a poor choice of words.

                                  4. re: Harters

                                    "Of course, our legislation only applies within the EU borders and, much as we may not like it, the rest of the world is free to make its own blue cheese and call it Stilton if it wishes."

                                    Not certain that is correct, IIRC the Australian wine industry moved away from European wine names in '94 because of trade treaties with the EU (and once signed these are legally enforceable as they would be in the US - just like NAFTA).

                                    As a result Australian wines are sold as varietals no longer as Claret, Chablis, White Burgundy, Hock, Champagne, or Sherry.

                                    There was a transitional agreement but that stopped with a revised treating in 2010. I understand there are lots of these agreements and they are reciprocal between countries protecting names both ways.

                                2. re: Veggo

                                  Even since Belgioso started making cheeses in the US, I reach for them before Aurrichio. I know where it's from, as with all cheeses; it's marked right on the label. Can't see the big deal here. I always see a choice of American, and EU, and I take my pick.

                              2. American Muenster has absolutely nothing to do with French cheese of the same name. Schumer (my Senator, whom I usually tolerate, is an ass on this one)

                                15 Replies
                                1. re: DGresh

                                  No doubt it is different, but in the US, Muenster is merely a type of cheese. The name of the French cheese is Munster.

                                  I'm sure that people who are connoisseurs of fine cheese know what they are getting. The rest aren't paying for imported cheese anyway.

                                  1. re: DGresh

                                    and wow, what a surprise it was the day we bought a hunk of French Munster and found out that it ain't the same as American Muenster!

                                    1. re: DGresh

                                      It isn't only Sen. Schumer who is defending American cheese nomenclature. Many other Senators are opposed to this restriction on naming our cheese, so I expect the proposal will go nowhere.

                                      The EU may register whatever controlled names they please for use in Europe, and prohibit importation of products with conflicting names. What we do in the US is not their business. There is no conflict here, because we mark the country of origin on our cheese.

                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        so cheese sold in the US impacts their business not at all?

                                        Au contraire...the world no longer operates as isolated little pods of commerce.

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          Sure it affects it. Americans who need "feta" can buy the American variety by that name or an imported feta. The latter is much better and more expensive. But the EU says that feta must be Greek. Where I buy imported feta, they have Greek, Bulgarian, and Romanian cheese labeled "feta." I don't know what Bulgarians and Romanians call it and don't want to know. To Americans, they are all authentic feta.

                                          We believe in competition in the US. Someone who makes cheese here wants to take business away from every other cheesemaker, foreign or domestic. The question is not whether the competition affects the business of others, but whether the competition is fair. The EU thinks it is not, but they will lose that argument.

                                          1. re: GH1618

                                            We also believe in the protection of intellectual property in the US.

                                            The AOC/AOP system is largely a system of intellectual property as it applies to agricultural products.

                                            Cheesemakers are free to make cheese with milk from the same species of animal, in any style they like. The only restriction is on what it's called.

                                            And it's not that big a restriction -- Brie, for example, has an AOC for Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun (there are a couple of others that are up for consideration) -- but there are dozens of Bries produced in other regions of France..only those that meet the AOC definitions are allowed to be called Brie de Meaux or Brie de Melun.

                                            Same with Camembert -- if it's called "Camembert de Normandie" it's the AOC real deal. No "de Normandie"? It's just cheese in the style of Camembert.

                                            Sparkling wines? Still not a problem -- that's what the term "méthode Champenoise" is for.

                                            Feta in the EU? Shows up the shelf at le supermarche as "Brebis" -- sheep's milk cheese, but decorated with all those blue and white decorations that look suspiciously like the Greek flag? Leaves little to no doubt as to what you'll find in the package.

                                            Just like you can build a kick-ass car that looks like a Corvette and drives like a Corvette...but you're not allowed to call it a Corvette unless it's made in the place that makes Corvettes.

                                            1. re: GH1618

                                              The notion that Bulgarians, Romanians, Cypriots, etc don't have long established feta making traditions and that it's only ever been made in Greece is silly. If you're avoiding Buglarian feta (in particular) just because it's not Greek PDO feta, you're missing out on some truly excellent cheese.

                                              Folks can argue all sorts of protection for all sorts of cheeses - but to me feta is like cheddar. There are way too many regions in the Mediterranean that make their own feta. I'm not saying that this should apply to all cheeses, but the feta one, IMO, is not defensible.

                                              1. re: cresyd

                                                i buy bulgarian feta to mix with USA feta for my tiropita and spanakopita. it's cheeper and the bulgarian feta is mushy soft and not salted and the cows milk USA feta is dry and hard.

                                                for eating out of hand, Greek feta, by far, is the gold standard and a protected PDO for a reason.

                                                There are court cases that are/were going on about feta production in england and that awful stuff that was coming out of denmark.
                                                france makes a mild flavoured cheese they were calling feta. now they call it something else. it's feta like, but not feta.

                                                also, no one said you can't make feta anywhere you want. they only say that you cannot confuse the consumer with your product from wherever with a label that claims to be feta.

                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                  Having lived and traveled around certain parts of the Mediterranean I disagree. I have also had some Greek PDO feta that I felt was garbage. I get that the initial case was in response to the Danish feta, but they opted to just disregard a much wider feta tradition in the region.

                                                  I think that if the EU went to US and said "you can't call this Stilton because it needs to be made in xyz ways, and it's not being done" - to a US government body that's going to read a lot stronger than "you can't call this Stilton because of where it was made". I'm not saying there isn't a value in that - but there are enough example of the regionalism trumping other issues in a way that are debatable.

                                                  1. re: cresyd

                                                    Its going to be part of a trade treaty, trade treaties are bilateral and give benefits to both parts. So true the EU can force the US to do this, but these things are negotiated and agreed over time and happen.

                                                    The US exports $265 billion in goods and $194 billion in services to the EU each year - thats a lot of exports and jobs. Obviously the EU exports a lot to the US as well so the trade treaties are quite important to the economic health of both geographies. Intellectual property and trade marks are all part and parcel of this and thus if agreed it will be enforced - trade sanctions can cost a lot of money and a lot of jobs.

                                                2. re: cresyd

                                                  Although "Feta" is the greek word for this type of cheese.

                                                  The Other European countries that make a similar cheese had local names for their cheeses. The reason they started to label it Feta was people wanted the greek style cheese - it made economic sense to the Bulgarians and Danes exporting to the supermarkets of US, Germany, France etc.

                                                  1. re: PhilD

                                                    " "Feta" is the Greek word for this type of cheese"

                                                    and is the Greek cheese. It is, and was, made in surrounding areas. even before the boundaries of modern states were outlined by the modern western powers. so, if you tell me that feta is made in, say, Bulgaria, well, sure, it shares a common border that is much newer than the cheese making.

                                                    when "Danish" cows milk "Feta" was being sold in the US, many bought this horrible stuff and thought it to be true Feta. Now that the US is getting pressure about its Wisconsin Feta made from cows milk, it will have to find another way to top its American version of a "Greek Salad" with something that isn't as hard and dry and crumbly as this vile stuff that is labeled "Feta" and isn't even a reasonable facsimile to be called "Greek Style Feta".

                                                    Oh, and Haloumi is a PDO of the Greek Island of Cyprus. ;-)

                                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                                      That should make this a fait accompli....:)

                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                        Agree the fluid borders in Europe can create some issues, although in theory the geographical origin doesn't need to be a country if it straddles a border. For example the Basque region straddles the France/Spain border.

                                                        I had thought the Bulgarians call their Feta like cheese Sirene - maybe that's the name they still call the local artesian ones. But since Bulgaria is in the EU and Feta is protected by a PDO do they still call it FETA?

                                                        Haloumi is a PDO of Cyprus and protected in the US, but until the politics settle down I fear the EU won't recognise it as such. It is a pity as its a beautiful island and the Greek/Turkish Cypriot politics are frustrating - I used to live there. .

                                                        1. re: PhilD

                                                          Folks, we've removed a bunch of posts here. We understand these are issues that some feel strongly about because they're very personal to them, but Chowhound isn't the right place to debate them. Please, just focus on the food and not the larger political situations. Thanks.

                                          2. The Europeans are right. Didn't we already go through this with Wine?
                                            If Other Countries started producing Napa Valley Wine, Maryland Crab or Georgia Peach Products you would hear lots of screaming from the US.

                                            37 Replies
                                            1. re: chefj

                                              Maryland crab cakes are now found globally. made with whatever crab they like. albeit, in many cases, with high quality crab, even if not blue crabs from Maryland...

                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                And it should not be called a Maryland Crab Cake cause that is not what it is.
                                                Maryland has program called "True Blue" in hopes of preserving their Brand.
                                                Just because it is done does not make it right.

                                                1. re: chefj

                                                  true. is the name "crab cake" also seeking protection?

                                                  since I am from Long Island, and I have friends that sell crabs to market that sell to Maryland, I have some reservations...

                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                    That would be like trying to claim the word Cheese.

                                                  2. re: chefj

                                                    "And it should not be called a Maryland Crab Cake cause that is not what it is."

                                                    There are only two things that might make something worthy of being called a "Maryland Crab Cake". Either, it was made and served to you in the State of "Many deeds and womanly words", or it is spiced with Old Bay. Otherwise, it is just a term to be thrown about. Not sure if most folks know this, but blue claws don't carry ID cards and Maryland restaurants import more crab from other places than they get from local waters.

                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                      I disagree. It needs to be made with MD Crab meat. Or at the very least Chesapeake Bay Crab.
                                                      Most MD Crab Cakes do not have Old Bay in them.

                                                      1. re: chefj

                                                        Flashing back to Gordon Ramsay reaming out a restaurant owner for serving Canadian lobster as Maine lobster.

                                                        1. re: ennuisans

                                                          A whole new meaning to "wetbacks", huh?

                                                          1. re: ennuisans

                                                            Who is reaming any one out? And as much as I dislike the man he is right. If you are buying Canadian Lobster just call it Lobster, Why mislead People.I am entitled to my opinion and I do not think that Cheese made in Wisconsin or Argentina should be labeled Parmesan.

                                                            1. re: chefj

                                                              I didn't mean to imply that you or anyone here was doing any reaming, only drawing a comparison with a similar discussion on a tv show that has been discussed on this board and which some here might remember.

                                                              I agree with you and Ramsay both, for what it's worth. Words have meaning, and names of foods bring along expectations that should be delivered upon.

                                                              1. re: ennuisans

                                                                Right on!

                                                          2. re: chefj

                                                            But much crab is brought in from other places, such as Long Island. ..

                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                              So you should not call it Maryland Crab cause it is not.

                                                              1. re: chefj

                                                                and the crab houses serving all those crabs in those crab eating restaurants... well, they source crabs from places such as Long Island... do they tell the customers that not only is the crab cake from Long Island crabs, but so are the whole steamed crabs?

                                                                Ok. but I doubt they'll admit it on a menu..

                                                            2. re: chefj

                                                              Leaving aside the difference between what I articulated and what you took it to mean, as well as the fact that I have no way of even trying to figure out what percentage of crab cakes made with crabs caught in Maryland waters use some Old Bay, I simply submit that you consider what homarus americanus are familiarly called?

                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                If i misunderstood you please explain.
                                                                American Lobster and your point?
                                                                You do not sell a Lobster caught in Canada as Maine Lobster. You just sell it as Lobster.

                                                                1. re: chefj

                                                                  Or stick "Gulf of" in front of Maine Lobster - at least for the ones coming out of the Gulf of Maine (lot's of Canadian border on the Gulf of Maine).

                                                                  1. re: NE_Wombat

                                                                    "The American lobster, Homarus americanus, is a species of lobster found on the Atlantic coast of North America, chiefly from Labrador to New Jersey. Within North America, it is also known as the northern lobster or Maine lobster."

                                                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                      I hereby make known my support of the new legislation to be put forth in the Congress of these (somewhat) United States. Senate Bill HR-0003-13-0014, commonly known as the "Crustacean Control Consideration Practices" or, simply, the "CCCP".

                                                                      Since I have no interest in trying to explain the seventeen thousand paragraphs that Senator Cruz and his staff, in consultation with Senator Schumer's office, have put forth, I will simply note that once this law is enacted, all anthropods that are "free-living aquatic animals", shall be required to establish their place of origin - with government issued IDs, as well as any pertinent migration information that may have "any reasonable way of being considered as somehow suggesting that such migration was both reasonable and could likely lead to the reasonable conclusion that it might be something that somebody might likely find of some concern of reasonable relevance."

                                                                      In this way, and only this way, we can maintain the integrity of our borders against the threats from the hordes of the North and their hockey exceptionalism. Those damn Mexican crabs who keep daring to swim with the current in their own Gulf. And, most importantly, prevent the likelihood that when those who once flew the Stars and Bars claim crabs from the Northern end of the Chesapeake to be their own.

                                                                      (BTW, um, is satire still, like, OK anymore?)

                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                        Just because it's called "Maine Lobster" doesn't prevent people from complaining that it wasn't pulled out of the water by a Mainer.

                                                                        I worked at a Massachusetts headquartered, east coast restaurant group with a seafood based menu.

                                                                        After the customer relations department received several complaints from a handful of customers (centered on two of the MA restaurants) about the Canadian origin of some lobsters on the menu as "Maine Lobster", there was a discussion about this exact subject. Before ultimately/eventually removing "Maine" from the menus (it still remains in the Mail Order system - but just as a package name, not as a lobster descriptor), the two locations in question had their local menus modified with "Gulf of" in the lobster description.

                                                                        1. re: NE_Wombat

                                                                          spiny lobster

                                                                          1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                            That's a different species, and without the tasty, tasty claws.

                                                                            These were alive and kicking (at least until the steamer) Homarus americanus. The issue was that some (not all) were Canadian in origin - required because of volume and pricing. Not that there's anything wrong with Canadian lobster (unlike their "bacon").

                                                                            1. re: NE_Wombat

                                                                              I find that spiny lobster is tastier than the lobster with large claws, but that may be that they were prepared by a chef and not just plain steamed.

                                                                          2. re: NE_Wombat

                                                                            Well, The Monroes may have been a poster child band for the "one hit wonder" category, they did introduce the following ear-worm into the common lexicon, and it does answer your suggestions:

                                                                            "All the people tell me so,
                                                                            But, what do all the people know?"

                                                                            If that's not enough, I suggest that you hum, "Every night I'm talking in my sleep . . . . "

                                                                            What I'm saying is, it doesn't matter AT ALL what some corporate suits did to placate two customers from Massachusetts. Maine lobster is a term applied to a crustacean drawn from the North Atlantic. They don't come with a stamp. At best, you could label 'em as "violently torn from their peaceful existence below the sea by guys on a boat registered in the State of Maine".

                                                                            Personally, having pulled traps off the coast of New Jersey, and owning a property in Lubeck, I'd rather eat a bug pulled just after it crawled into a trap in the deep waters southeast of Barnegat than one pulled three days ago from a rocky beach northeast of Kinnebunk.

                                                                          3. re: Gastronomos

                                                                            It is not a Maine Lobster unless it is from Maine.
                                                                            Really arguing other wise is inane.

                                                                            1. re: chefj

                                                                              So, you would be sceptical if Omaha Steaks expanded their product line to include Omaha Lobsters?

                                                                              1. re: chefj

                                                                                A Maine lobster boat in Canadian waters, no, in international waters sells lobsters.

                                                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                  Do we need an immigration wall there too? Can lobsters dig tunnels or get a green card?

                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                    it can use a currency such as the Amero

                                                                                2. re: chefj

                                                                                  "It is not a Maine Lobster unless it is from Maine.
                                                                                  Really arguing other wise is inane."

                                                                                  Holding onto the notion that a creature drawn from the bottom of an ocean somehow belongs to any particular State and therefore deserves an identity is "silly" or "stupid". Arguing about how we should label such products based upon prevailing beliefs, fishing facts, economic manipulation, regional biases, the subjectivity inherent in the evolution of human languages, etc., is interesting, as well as, what drives this Site and its participants.

                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                    there are several types of oysters and mussels that have AOC or AOP designations.

                                                                                    Granted, they don't move like lobsters, but they are still harvested from the ocean.

                                                                  2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                    Its a very good point. I don't live in the US and would love to be reassured that products like: Maryland Crab Cakes; or Dungeness Crab; or Florida Orange; or Meyer Lemon; or Anchor Steam Beer; or Kentucky Bourbon; or USDA Prime Beef; or Zinfandel......are the real deal and were protected by trade marks, and other such legal protections.

                                                                    1. re: PhilD

                                                                      The name "Dungeness" originated in England, but became attached to a small harbor and town in the US State of Washington:

                                                                      http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/wa/d...

                                                                      Today, "Dungeness" has become the common name of a particular species of crab which may be harvested anywhere from Southeastern Alaska to Central California. Nobody thinks "Dungeness" is a misrepresentation if it comes from some place other than a particular part of the Washington coast.

                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                        Yes I know Dungeness well - a god forsaken bit of the Kent coast with a nuclear power station.

                                                                        I wonder if you would be relaxed about the name if it was imported from Russian fish farms on their Pacific coast.

                                                                        1. re: PhilD

                                                                          It would still be "Dungeness." But wherever we live on the US or Canadian west coast, we prefer our crab local and fresh. The Russian crab that is controversial is the King Crab, which has been introduced to European Russia and is exported.

                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                            Thank you, GH. That's the ultimate point. The names things are given are, like the totality of all words we assign to things, subject to change over time. AT bottom, tell me what you mean, not what you call it.

                                                                            Since the topic is beginning to frustrate me and it's too early to break out the tequila (I try to wait until 10:30 EDT), I merely inquire - What is a Danish? or Tell me where you had the best French Fires ever? (So nobody's confused, the foregoing questions were rhetorical, ok?)

                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                              MGZ - as you mentioned Danish - this shows those pesky EU people are also threatening the poor Danes and their pastries: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...

                                                                              Also good to remember that Tequila is also protected and it must be produced in certain Mexican states (although it can be bottled outside of Mexico).

                                                                2. "Vidalia" is a trademarked name in the US. "Gruyère" is not.

                                                                  http://www.lexology.com/library/detai...

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                    but it should be...for all the reasons that Vidalia is trademarked.

                                                                  2. This puts me in mind of a trip to Venezuela I took in the late '80s. At that time, Venezuela wasn't importing much, for whatever reason. So rather than actual Roquefort cheese, shops sold tipo Roquefort, a Venezuelan version (not good). Bars served tipo Pilsner (even worse). So we could just slap a "tipo" designation on everything. Problem solved.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: small h

                                                                      well, exactly -- and that's exactly how it's done a lot of the time.

                                                                    2. Way I see it call it whatever the hell you want. Just label the thing with its place of origin and manufacture, it's ingredients, and any pertinent certification that the seller deems important. I'll figure out the rest and if somebody else can't, please send me their phone number, I have a business proposition for them involving a bridge.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                        In retrospect, I think I failed to mention a derivative point I was implying. Simply saying something is "muenster" doesn't tell me if it's good, or if I'll like it, or even what exactly is in it, or how it's made (with any true clarity), or much else. I mean, American "muenster" may melt better in Grandma's Mac-n-Cheese recipe and not add an "off" funk" nobody's used too. Does it make it bad or is it more important to know what I'm buying?

                                                                        After all what is actually in a "name"? We all post under our self-chosen monikers does that the words I use mean anything different than had simply been forced to use the cognomen my folks selected? What if I included the nomen and preanomen too? Does that change the way you read the letters I type?

                                                                        By way of example, folks throw around the term "socialist", these days, to mean anything from "totalitarian" to "African-American". Since we will never be able to regulate improper use, wouldn't it be better to simply have enough information contained with any statement so that we could "understand where it's comin' from" and draw our own conclusions? Otherwise, are we not simply jousting with windmills and wishing Shumer would simply accept the inevitable and put forth a Bill to "socialize" health care?

                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                          "After all what is actually in a "name"?"

                                                                          Well the EU names do go along with lots of other regulations that specify how a product is made and what he ingredients must be. So its much more than simply a name, it is in effect a "brand promise" so you can expect to get what you think you are paying for.

                                                                          For example Champagne needs to come from the Champagne region of France, it can only contain certain grape varieties etc etc. The region is importunity because it is based on a solid type (very chalky) that gives the wine its characteristic. A Napa sparking may have the same grapes, a similar production method, but the soil is different so the wine will be different and hence is not Champagne.

                                                                          However, none of this guarantees the producers who follow all the rules will deliver a quality product - but at least it narrows the field.

                                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                                            Given the context of the thread, and the linked article from which it was spawned, I had taken for granted that we were all pretty much aware of the EU approach - which, I'll remind us, is based predominantly upon geographic notions so as to assuage fears of the loss of cultural identity and benefit to local economies.

                                                                            Leaving aside any suggestion of nefarious conduct by producers, I stand by the basic premise I articulated: "Call the shit whatever you like, just provide the important information on the label. And feel free to include as much as you like." Your suggestion that the "name matters" assumes that consumers are all either aware of whatever subjective definition, for example, the EU has decided to adopt for it or are willing to look up such meanings and their requirements while scanning the aisles. As we have all read in the article to which we were generously directed, knowledge of the former is clearly less valuable to that of the latter, given the fungibility of assigned "names".

                                                                            The notion of a "brand promise" is pretty much bullshit. If you've ever eaten at McDonalds in three different States*, you realize that there is a very minimal standard to be "adhered to". Clean counters, common costs, and color-coded, coated papers don't guarantee the consistency of the contents created therein.

                                                                            Just so there is even more provided by way of clarification, since I can often post things some find opaque, doesn't the notation, "Proudly Brewed in Wisconsin, with Hops grown in Oregon, in Accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516", allow more potential for consumer understanding than "Bavarian Beer" when it comes to selecting a six pack? Doesn't the vintage year on the label mean as much, if not more, in selecting a wine than whether it came from a region of France that suffered a drought in 2008 or a state in America that produced its best wines in half a decade?**

                                                                            * * *

                                                                            I could go on and on about this topic, but I'm afraid I've lost a majority of readers shortly after I submitted the phrase "linked article". So given the approach to submitting music reference I took above, I'll simply close by noting that my conclusion is, "Tell me more, and more, and then some." Bille sings it way better, so enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYMVYg...

                                                                            *I'm omitting overseas markets where "Brand" has a different corporate approach (although, I assume that you will note the implicit message in such omission).

                                                                            **As to the last one, please keep in mind that I suggest no proper choice, without knowing, the occasion, the food to be consumed, or the palates of those to be consuming. (My sincere apologies if that was that too subtle.)

                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                              "Call the shit whatever you like, just provide the important information on the label. And feel free to include as much as you like."

                                                                              Surely if one sticks to the rules all the information would be there, often in just one word, e.g. "Champagne". Also, if the name doesn't matter why are so many manufacturers eager to use names they shouldn't? I personally would have no issues with use of phrases like "Stilton Style", which of course already happens to a certain extent with "Methode Champenoise"

                                                                              I have a pal named Ford. I understand your "Brand" observations, but how much noise would come out of Detroit if he started making cars with his name on them?

                                                                              Lots of US foodstuffs are superb, and I'm a particular fan of CA wines which lead the way over many EU counterparts. Producers of quality products should have the confidence to use their own names.

                                                                      2. I'm sorry to say this, but the more I read the comments to this thread, it seems like folks are correcting comma placement on a manuscript written in a foreign language a century ago.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                          Don't you mean "...folks are correcting, comma placement on a, manuscript written, een vreemde taal een eeuw geleden."?

                                                                        2. Didn't see this link

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: lpatter

                                                                            I think their main objective is to remove the proper names on the blatant missuse of inferior products..ie Karft Parmesan cheese in a green can...now that is offensive!

                                                                            1. re: lpatter

                                                                              Merely causing offense is not sufficient to abridge speech in the United States.

                                                                              Do you suppose that the people who are buying the stuff in the green can would instead buy a chunk of the real thing if the can were not labelled "parmesan"?

                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                As very few self-respecting American mice would eat 'President' brand brie cheese.

                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                  That brand is popular if only for the low prices they charge

                                                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                    For an equivalent low quality that should be an embarrassment to a nation of origin that has pride. To be fair, I can't take national pride in Kraft individually wrapped cheese food slices, either.
                                                                                    (But all the world likes Cheetos, I think:)

                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                      I have tried the President brand of feta

                                                                                      I repeat your comment and sentiments...

                                                                          2. If anyone had ever tasted the original products that have gotten DOP status, they'd understand the attempt at proyection.

                                                                            But Americans have nothing to fear - they'll be chomping on Chinese Roquefort before long. Ughh!

                                                                            As for what Americans come up with - I would like to know what McDonald's 'cheddar' has to do with 'Cheddar' - and that's just one example of many, many more.

                                                                            It's not really about 'purism' got its own sake - the real shame is how these 'rip offs' are really so horrible compared to the originals in SO many cases.

                                                                            1. One would think so - but I guess it doesn't hold if you are a Superpower

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: jounipesonen

                                                                                Military of economic...?

                                                                                If the latter I believe the EU and US are close on GDP, with the EU ahead at just over $16,673,333 million versus the US at $16,244,600 million (China is third at $8,358,400 million).

                                                                              2. Has USA applied for PDO/DOP for Velveeta?

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: jounipesonen

                                                                                  since Velveeta isn't really even an agricultural product, I don't think PDO/AOP/DOP could even apply.

                                                                                  They call it "pasteurized processed cheese food" because they can't actually call it cheese.

                                                                                  (UK readers: Think Dairylea)

                                                                                2. I thought this article was interesting as it shows that US states apply exactly the same principle/ideas that the EU/US are negotiating over cheese etc. This is all about the definition of Tennessee whiskey, and follows the approach to Bourbon.

                                                                                  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014...

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: PhilD

                                                                                    Good observation. As usual, follow the money.

                                                                                    1. re: PhilD

                                                                                      exactly....but they don't like the fact that that sword cuts both ways.

                                                                                    2. The state of affairs now regarding cheese is like what we used to have in the U.S. regarding wine names in the 1960s. Then the U.S. shifted to naming the majority grape juice in the wine (i.e., pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon) instead of calling the wine burgundy or bordeaux and the problem was solved. Some wine makers in the U.S. still abuse the names but reputable wine makers are now embarrassed to adopt a European name for an American wine. Problem (mostly) solved.

                                                                                      We should stop stealing the names of European cheeses and create our own names. This is embarrassing and the Europeans are understandably mad about the abuse.

                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                        I think you're right. I would be much more interested in tasting a Vermont BlahDeBlah than a Vermont Camembert.

                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                          And the real goal is to just set the goal as quality - the ones stealing the names never even come close to that. If name protection helps the quality idea so much the better.

                                                                                        2. re: gfr1111

                                                                                          gfr1111 - can you enlighten me on the use of the name Champagne in the US. I am convinced on a recent trip to Napa that Champagne was still widely used by US producers of fizzy wine.

                                                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                                                            No. It is not.

                                                                                            Chandon Napa, Domaine Carneros, Mumm Napa, even Schramsberg (basically the last major holdout) -- NONE use the word "Champagne" to describe their wines . . . ALL are "sparkling wines." So, too, is Gloria Ferrer, Roederer Estate, Piper-Sonoma, Equinox . . .

                                                                                            And outside California, Argyle (Oregon), Westport Rivers (Massachusetts) Gruet (New Mexico), Domaine Ste. Michelle (Washington State), Thibaut-Janisson (Virginia), Landon (Texas), Chateau Frank (New York State) . . . the list goes on and on . . .. NONE use the term "Champagne."

                                                                                            Only Kobel, based in Sonoma Co., and the really cheap $#|+ (like André and Tott's, which are both made by Gallo, and Cook's, made by Constellation) made in California's Central Valley continue to call themselves "California Champagne" and "American Champagne," respectively; Great Western is still labeled "New York State Champagne," as are, IIRC, a few others.

                                                                                            1. re: zin1953

                                                                                              Thanks for the info. Our visit was in 2012 so quite recent I and I am convinced the servers at Chandon (amongst others) kept calling it Champagne. As you can imagine this surprised us especially at Chandon.

                                                                                              1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                Remember there is a HUGE difference between what the winery labels their wine(s), and what people refer to them as . . .

                                                                                                When I ran a tasting room in the Napa Valley, I tried to get everyone "on message" -- i.e.: to say the same/similar things; to be consistent in our descriptions -- but it was difficult to get the people who had worked there for 30 years to listen to me, the young "kid."

                                                                                                Domaine Chandon (aka Chandon Napa) has NEVER labeled their wine "Chamapgne," nor has any European-owned/-partnered producer. What the employees working in the tasting salon say is (sort of) out of the winery's control . . . but I'd advise summary execution.

                                                                                          2. re: gfr1111

                                                                                            You are absolutely right.

                                                                                          3. And the Europeans are correct . . . EXCEPT for the lack of a suitable replacement name, and therein lies the "glitch."

                                                                                            The same is true for wine, and a better example. The US finally banned the terms "Burgundy," "Chablis," "Rhine," "Chianti," "Claret" and other semi-generic wine terms upon American labels, and wineries were quick to either use generic terms ("Red Table Wine," "White Table Wine") or to use a proprietary (and typically trademarked) name for their wine. "Champagne" became "sparkling wine." No problem. But problems arise when it comes to "Port," "Sherry," "Madeira," "Marsala" -- fortified wines with a protected geographic place-name of origin . . . the same sort of regulations that protect the names of Roquefort, Camembert, Stilton, and so many others . . .

                                                                                            Blue cheeses may present less of a problem than others, as they can (for example) call themselves ""Maytag Blue," "Roaring 40s," and so on. But how does one convey that X cheese made in the US in in a similar style to Y cheese of __________ (a country within the EU)? Call it "Cannon-Burt"? "Bree"? "Fetid"? (Well, no -- probably not that last one . . . ) But in all seriousness, I would like to see alternative names developed.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: zin1953

                                                                                              I totally agree...US cheesemakers are turning out some awfully tasty stuff...it's long past time they created their own name and stand proudly amongst the others rather than copying what so many others have done.

                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                Few are of the size and scale to market beyond their local market. It's a nascent but nicely growing segment. We read numerous articles applauding the new US cheeses, it should be an exciting future.

                                                                                            2. No, I don't think that is the concern.

                                                                                              It narrows down to Authenticity.

                                                                                              The marketing of products stating, or appearing to be made in a protected region of Europe is the concern. That translates into a benchmark that sets the pace for the imitations. And there are jobs at stake too.

                                                                                              Take Cognac, for example. Or V.S.O.P. Napoleon from China ( which having tasted is perhaps commendable, but not the same as the original ).

                                                                                              Chobani Greek Yoghurt, was another, until recent court decisions. A nice product, but not made in, or sold from Greece, which obviously could use the extra revenue at the moment.

                                                                                              There is no problem marketing cheese products as North American-made, Canadian-made, Artisan-made, Alpine-like/style, or Swiss-style cheese. But there is over authenticity of the original product, when the imitator does not even come close to the original in taste, composition, aroma, flavour, and appearance.

                                                                                              The simple solution is to just add the word LIKE or STYLE with the product. Greek-style yoghurt, or Greek-style Feta and there would be no problem. North American tastes do know the difference, and will pay for the original.

                                                                                              This is not new to Americans. I recall a similar US concern years back about a certain Mexican Salsa product that had superior qualities being made in the American Southwest, over the other product that was " Made in New York City ! " Which would you buy ?

                                                                                               
                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                with all due respect, I'm not sure that an argument about artisanal cheese could possibly be extended to an industrial product in which output is measured in the hundreds of thousands of gallons. (I don't buy the brand in question, or the one from New York City, by the way)

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                  I agree.

                                                                                                  We have used the term " industrial cheese " in Europe now for about 30 years to distinguish those made in bulk in factories, and those made by hand in small quantities.

                                                                                                  In better restaurants and cooking schools here, industrial produced cheese products have minimal use, and are not emphasized.

                                                                                                  My point is that it is the artisanal cheese products in North America now being recognized as a better product than industrially mass produced cheese, deserve to be promoted.

                                                                                                  But that takes us away from Swiss-produced Emmethaler, and Swiss cheese sold in US markets.

                                                                                                  Salsa de Nuevo Iorque: It was called Pace, wasn't it ?

                                                                                                  1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                    Yep. And still is.

                                                                                                2. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                  Just because something is the original or authentic does not automatically make it better.

                                                                                                  1. re: JonDough

                                                                                                    But at least we have a reference point as to what it is.

                                                                                                    If someone makes something which objectively really would be better, they'd be nuts to just ride on the name which has been found to not be as good.