Bleats

Aussies May Be Banned From Calling Feta Cheese 'Feta' Because Europe Is Having An Identity Crisis

(Don’t) Say cheese!

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. 

Yes, seriously. Source: Giphy

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”. 

My favourites yellow and chewy and salty. Source: Giphy

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. 

Macaroons And Macarons Are Not The Same Thing And My World Is Completely Changed

I have brain cells, I swear.

This week I came to the small realisation that my entire life has been a lie. 

Why?, you ask. What thing could possibly make me question my entire existence and everything I know to be good and sacred in this world? 

Macaroons, that’s what. 

Gossip Girl didn’t prepare me for this. Source: Giphy

For the last 23 years of my life I have been living under the assumption that the humble macaroon was the same as the macaron (AKA those chewy french biscuits that come in different colours and flavours).  

I thought that macaroon was just the lazy way of saying macaron. You know how it is, the French say something beautiful and we butcher it with our bogan accents

Turns out I was wrong because macaroons and macarons are distinctly different things. 

Maca-rons are the beautiful French melt-in-your-mouth biccies I mentioned. 

Maca-roons are chewy biscuits made of almonds or coconut, often with the gross glace cherry on top. These ones: 

Yum! Source: Getty

The funny thing is, once I was informed of the difference between the two biscuits I had a kind of “ah-ha!” moment. A part of my subconscious knew that the chewy coconut biscuits were called macaroons. But the main, functioning part of my brain had still managed to ignore that nugget of knowledge my whole life and continue to assume that macaroons and macarons were the same. 

Basically, my brain is stupid. 

That, or it’s a conspiracy, because every time I typed ‘macaroon’ into a search engine the colourful French kind kept coming up.

-gif- confused

Me neither, Sharpay. Source: Giphy

I feel it is my responsibility to enlighten you all to this small fact just in case you too are living in ignorant bliss. 

Pay it forward. 

Weet-Bix Is The Most Underrated Cereal, Hear Me Out

Don’t hate, appreciate.

Weet-Bix is an Australian icon. It’s not quite on the same level as Vegemite or Aeroplane Jelly – mainly because it’s not as tasty- but it’s up there. 

I’m here to reject the “Weet-Bix isn’t tasty” way of thinking. I’m here to challenge how you view cereal all together. 

Sure, Weet-Bix is fundamentally dry and flavourless and sticks to your mouth like wet cardboard when you have a mouthful that’s slightly too big. But it doesn’t have to be that way, friends. There’s a whole world of Weet-Bix variations that are genuinely tasty and won’t remind you even a little bit about the soggy mush your mum tried to force feed you as a child. 

Juuuust enough. Source: Giphy

Weet-Bix is way too underrated, and it’s time it reclaimed its throne. And it all starts with how you put the Weet-Bix in your bowl. 

A tip: don’t just pile the blocks on top of each other- you’re setting yourself up for disaster.  Breaking each Weet-Bix apart with a spoon is much more difficult than it seems and by the time you finally manage to break them down into bite-sized portions the milk you also poured into the bowl has made them soggy, and no one likes overly soggy cereal. 

Instead, use your hands to break apart the Weet-Bix as you put them in your bowl. It will save you work and time, which means you’ll avoid soggy cereal territory. 

Another thing that’s important is the milk to Weet-Bix ratio. Dousing your Weet-Bix in half a litre of milk is not proper conduct. Instead, put just enough milk in the bowl to help moisten the cereal (so it doesn’t scratch your oesophagus on the way down) but not totally ruin it’s texture. 

About a centimetre or two in the bottom of the bowl is the way to go. If you want more milk, you can add more milk. But you can never take milk away. 

You are so welcome. Source: Giphy

If you’re the kind of monster that likes their cereal soggy, then ignore the top two points and just continue from here.

The next most important thing with Weet-Bix is flavour. On its own, Weet-Bix basically tastes like oatey paper. But, add some honey and fresh fruit and your breakfast will suddenly be transformed from drab to fab. 

Exactly. Source: Giphy

WARNING: honey and fruit will sweeten the milk which may cause a euphoric state. 

If you’re feeling especially boujee, you can add Milo to your Weet-Bix too. Another Aussie staple to help you start your day the right way and chocolate milk to finish – thank me later. 

So welcome. Source: Giphy

The versatility of Weet-Bix is also severely underrated. You don’t just have to eat it as cereal. You can slice each brick in half and use them as crackers with your favourite toppings. 

You can also use Weet-Bix as a supplement for oats in smoothies, or crush them up and use them as the crust in apple crumble. The possibilities are endless. 

Now go forth and use your newfound skills, young grasshoppers. And remember, it’s not about how many you do, but what you do with the many. 

To Weet-Bix! Source: Giphy

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