Column: Americanizing cheese involves melting pot

What’s in a name? Does a cheese by any other name smell as pungent and taste as sharp? This is the question I have been pondering with Shakespearean intensity ever since I read that the European Union wants to ban the use of the names of some cheeses made in the United States.

As part of the current free-trade agreement, discussions in Brussels between the U.S. and the European Union, a proposal has been offered that would allow certain names to be used only for cheeses made in their place of origin.

Although U.S. manufacturers would be allowed to make the popular cheese we put on our pizzas, only factories in Parma, Italy, could label it “Parmesan.” Who knows? If the EU gets its way, we might be forced to call the American version, “Green Can Pizza Cheese” although I wouldn’t put it past them to contest the word “pizza,” as well.

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