Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Some folks in Europe don’t think so, and are calling for US cheesemakers to cease the use of names like gruyere, brie and parmesan, or anything else with “historical ties to Europe.” European cheeses already have AOC, DOP and DO designations to distinguish their products from others, similar or not — but is it enough?
As part of negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the European Union wants the U.S. to prohibit food makers here from using names with historical ties to Europe.
That means popular cheeses like Gruyere, Brie and Parmesan could all be in line for a name change, thanks to the EU’s proposed restrictions. The problem, says Steve Stettler, who owns Decatur Dairy in Brodhead, Wis., is that U.S. food makers have spent a lot of money building their brands.