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Big Cheese Theft - Economy

Big Cheese Theft – Economy

A salty undertone with fruity flavours. The dough should be ivory and slightly moist to the touch, preferably with holes about five millimeters in diameter, isolated slits allowed. This is how it should look, taste and feel: the famous Gruyère cheese from Gruyères – at least in Switzerland and the European Union, where the name is protected.

Swiss authorities proudly write that cheese dairies around the town of Gruyères in canton Fribourg have been making the famous hard cheese from raw milk for about 900 years. Today, only these producers are allowed to write “Le Gruyère” in capital letters on their cheeses that conform to the cheese’s detailed specifications. Swiss “specification” In origin, production and quality. Above all, this means that wheels of cheese must come from the cantons of Friborg, Vaud, Neuchâtel and Jura or from the French-speaking region of Bern. There is one exception for historical reasons for the French border region: farmers are also allowed to produce Gruyère there. At many conventions, the two cheese states have agreed to share the name. Since 2013, Swiss or French versions of Gruyère cheese have been a protected designation throughout the European Union.

Therefore, if Switzerland and France agreed to use the noble name, then it is believed that there should not be any problems. However, a recent court ruling published in the USA makes it clear that the uniqueness of European Gruyère cheese is not internationally disputed. In the US state of Virginia, a federal judge has ruled that Gruyère sold in the United States can be produced anywhere. In the past, the name definitely referred to the region of origin. But after decades of selling Gruyere cheese made outside the protected area, the term has become a “common term” for cheese buyers in the United States. You cannot register one as a trademark in the United States.

For the Swiss and French Gruyère producers, who joined forces in the lawsuit in the United States, the judge’s decision represented a serious defeat. “We are disappointed,” said Philippe Bardet, president of the Swiss Gruyère Producers’ Association. In several interviews. Bardi and his French colleagues have tried for years to protect Gruyère as an appellation of origin in the USA – to no avail. This “consumer deception” even bardet.

On the European side, there is now great discontent. Swiss headlines “Americans steal our Gruyere!” OpinionAnd, on Twitter, a journalist from French-speaking Switzerland wrote: “Americans love their miserable, misnamed cheeses, so just let them have them.” But the Franco-Swiss cheese union does not want to give up that easily. The Gruyere associations have already appealed the ruling. Perhaps at some point they will be able to do what the French have already done with the Roquefort: it has to come from France, even if American stores sell it.