“Sparkling wines” of the cheese world

Cheese board

Photo by Flickr user nichole [jumbledpile], used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

You may be aware that Champagne technically can only come from the region of France called—you guessed it—Champagne. Everything else is sparkling wine.

Did you know that these days the names of many a cheese are similarly protected? As Jeanne Carpenter details in a recent article for Edible Madison,

Naming a cheese is more complicated than one might expect. There are many European cheese names that can’t be used at all in America. In the past, if you made a common European cheese, you could label it as such. But the European Union has halted this practice by protecting well-known varieties with a “designation of origin” label, limiting production to specific locations in Europe.

For example, let’s say you want to make Manchego, a well-known Spanish sheep’s milk cheese. That name is now protected by the European Union. Unless you’re living in the La Mancha region of Spain and making your cheese from the milk of sheep of the Manchega breed, your cheese can’t be called Manchego. The same applies to other greats such as Pecorino Romano, Saint-Nectaire and Danish Blue.

For more, check out the full piece here.


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