S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

The Language of Cheese

Although manufacturers may complain that names like 'parmesan' and 'champagne' ought to designate a generic product of the right ilk by now, I'm still rather charmed by the idea that local names can designate a local product. I don't mind that Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate must be referred to as a being a milk-chocolate-like product. And I certainly don't mind that the EU has just ruled against non-Parma area parmesan makers, saying that it is not "real" parmesan cheese.

In the same vein, I'm often struck by how few cheeses the US bothers with. Cheese is something richly varying and extremely local, at least in Italy, England, and France. There's an astounding lack of variation and creativity in mass market American (or Canadian) cheeses. I'm not saying there aren't good cheese out there... but there's certainly no real tradition of distributing them.
Tags: cheese, food
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