If we went through life thinking of alternative ways to refer to cooking products, our brains would be a lot bigger and our time a lot shorter.
Things like cheese, oil, spices and ham are all generalised for ease. If someone says “can you get the ham out of the fridge” you generally know exactly what they’re talking about.
Olive oil is olive oil – for all intents and purposes it does the same thing and tastes the same.
But, thanks to Europe being a pain in our produce aisle, generalisations may soon be banned.
The European Union (EU) wants to protect the name of a whole bunch of foods and spirits from being used in the Australian produce industry.
Just like champagne can only be called champagne if it’s been produced in the Champagne region in France, things like ‘feta’ and ‘mortadella bologna’ can only be used to describe items specific to a region in Europe. The EU argues that the geographical identification of these foods is an important part of their branding and broader cultural significance and, so, must be protected.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham told the ABC that Australia will fight hard to keep the rights to use original product names and not have to resort to alternative terms.
“We will put up a strong fight in terms of areas of Australian interests,” he said.
“Ultimately what we’re trying to do is get the best possible deal that ensures Australian businesses and farmers can get better access to a market engaging 500 million potential consumers.”
Let’s be real, “crumbly, pasteurised goats milk” just doesn’t sound as catchy (or simple) as “feta”.
The 172 foods and over 200 spirits on the list are apparently “non-negotiables” for the European Union. As well as feta and mortadella, popular foods like balsamic vinegar and scotch beef are also on the list.
Cheese and deli meets will cop it the hardest if the EU doesn’t loosen up a bit. The list demands that cheeses like Gruyère, Feta, Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, Beaufort, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Blue Stilton and more but be referred to by alternative names.
Products like Mortadella Bologna and Prosciutto di Parma also made the list.
How will I organise a cheese plater party now? Imagine the group chat:
“Can you buy the white crumbly Greek cheese that comes in a block? As well as that stringy salty Italian deli meat. Oh and some of that sparkling alcoholic beverage that makes you feel all tingly to go along with it. Thanks.”
Life is difficult enough with out this ridiculousness. Nothing will ruin cheese platters for me, I tell you, nothing.