Aren’tcha glad the United States isn’t a member of the European Union? When I read this story, I cheered that we’re geographically in the New World, not the Old:
“Greece won the exclusive right to call its white salty cheese feta Tuesday as the European Union’s top court ended a long legal battle against Denmark and Germany.
“The European Court of Justice ruled the definition of feta was reserved for cheese from Greece alone as it had been registered as a protected designation of origin by the European Commission in 2002.”
Now, the word “feta” isn’t like the word “champagne,” which refers to a specific region in France, Champagne, where the original champagne grapes were grown. There’s no such thing as a Greek town or area called “Feta.” Feta is just the name for a wet and salty sheep and/or goat cheese that tastes delish in salads and dips. Nonetheless, here’s how the Euro-court arrived at its conclusion that cheesemakers in Denmark, Germany, and other EU countries can no longer call their feta feta:
“Explaining its decision, the court recalled a Commission opinion that special breeds of sheep and goats and the fauna in Greece gave Greek feta a specific aroma and flavor.”
Oh? Tell that to the Bulgarians and residents of other Balkan countries who have been making feta cheese for just as long as the Greeks (creamy imported Bulgarian feta, a staple at my local Whole Foods market, is especially tasty). Fortunately, none of these countries (unlike Denmark and Germany) belongs to the EU, and I bet they’re glad they haven’t signed up. And we don’t belong to the EU either, so our own Wisconsin cheesemakers, who turn out a darned good feta product, don’t hve to relabel it as “Greek-style cheese,” or somesuch. Long live American feta!
Not only is the Court of Justice ruling a typical product of the stifling regime of the EU-rocracy–but doesn’t it also undermine what the EU was supposed to be all about? The idea was to build one big, happy, Euro-family, not to enable a bunch of squabbling countries to enforce territorial monopolies for their products. Yet another reason for the Euros to keep voting “Nee” on the EU’s efforts to exend its regulatory tentacles into every corner of their lives.