Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Germany Ain't Italy

In response to a suit brought by Italian Parmesan producers in the European Court of Justice against Germany for allowing German companies to make and sell "Parmesan" cheese, the German government argued that the word "Parmesan" is generic and that any cheese that is intended to be grated and put on pasta could be so named. That seems like a pretty lame defense and the court agreed.

So the Italians won and now nobody in the EU can market any cheese as "Parmesan" unless it is produce in Italy by the "Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium."

So now it seems that anyone in the EU who wants to make cheese that looks like Parmesan, and is used like Parmesan, and that maybe even tastes like Parmesan but is not made in the region of Parma, has to call it something else.

My vote is for Parma-John (or Parma-Jack) after my paternal grandfather whose name was Giovanni and who hailed from Borgo Val di Taro in the province of Parma.

Germany cleared in Parmesan case


EU Court: Parmesan Is Protected Name


Egaeus said...

Hooray for par par par par parmigiano

Anonymous said...

Can we still call eggplant parmesan Parma ghanoush?

Anonymous said...


Don Luis said...

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the US; witness Kraft Parmesan. From their website:

"KRAFT 100% GRATED PARMESAN Cheese, in the familiar green can, has been a part of the Italian meal tradition for over half a century"

Won't the Italians be surprised!

Charcuteire said...

Kraft Parmesan in the Green can has been part of the American Italian-meal tradition since at least the 50s. When my older brother came home with a piece of real cheese, possibly even real Parmesan, my mother threw it out because it wasn't Kraft. I won't say what she called it but it wasn't pretty.

Tags said...

If my grandmother saw that green can, she'd be even ruder - then put that #@* can next to the jar of Ragu I gave her as a gag birthday gift.

Needless to say, she didn't laugh at the gag until a good five minutes into her Ragu rant about cornstarch and the like.