February 26, 2008
Pa-Pa-Pa ... Pa-Parmigiano
Posted by Gordon Smith

[UPDATED] In our continuing effort to keep you apprised of developments on the frontiers of law and cheese, I note today's decision of the European Court of Justice holding that ["Parmesan" is not a generic product name.] "Parmigiano Reggiano" is a protected designation of origin [and only authentic "Parmigiano Reggiano" can be sold under the name "Parmesan."] According to the BBC story, authentic Parmesan is "made by fewer than 450 cheese-makers close to the Po River in northern Italy." In honor of the decision, take a look at this promotional video with a catchy jingle ...

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Comments (4)

1. Posted by Raffi on February 27, 2008 @ 8:15 | Permalink

Gordon - This is really interesting stuff, but I think the issue here is not that parmigiano regiano is a PDO (it is, and has been, and its status was not at issue) but whether you can sell a hard grated cheese that doesn't happen to be actual parmigiano reggiano as "parmesan". This all turns out to be a major issue because various grated cheese in a can makers have been fighting hard to convince people that no one could possible confuse their product with the authentic italian product, and yet everyone would be confused if you called it "hard grated cheese", or something. One major producer has already started calling its grated cheese "pamesello italiano", but other producers had decided, apparently, that the parmesan name was worth substantial revenues.

2. Posted by Gordon Smith on February 27, 2008 @ 10:14 | Permalink

Raffi, Mea culpa. Thank you for the correction. I updated the post to provide the correct holding.

3. Posted by Raffi on February 27, 2008 @ 14:00 | Permalink

Oh, no trouble. Meant it more as an add on than a correction, because this is a pet interest of mine.

4. Posted by Coach Factory on April 28, 2012 @ 3:03 | Permalink

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