• Queen HawlSera
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    397 months ago

    How the fuck do you counterfeit cheese? Do you use chocolate milk instead of regular?

    • @BastingChemina@slrpnk.net
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      817 months ago

      The designation “Parmigiano Reggiano” is a protected designation of origin (PDO) in the European Union.

      It means that to be able to call a cheese “Parmigiano Reggiano” a producer needs to follow a strict set of rules on how to produce the cheese, how to mature it, how the cows are being fed and it has to be manufactured in a specific area in Italy.

      So if someone is making cheese without following the rules and sell it as Parmigiano it would be counterfeit cheese. Just like someone selling lemonade but calling it “Sprite”.

      • @lunarul@lemmy.world
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        357 months ago

        And don’t forget the “origin” part. These designations also include being made in a specific region. You could follow all the rules and exact ingredients for Champagne, but if it’s not made in Champagne, France then you can’t call it Champagne. Same for Cognac, etc.

            • @danA
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              7 months ago

              Europeans definitely try to enforce rules like this worldwide, and AFAIK they’re mostly successful, at least in developed nations.

              I haven’t seen illegitimate Parmagiano Reggiano in the USA. They usually just refer to the US-made version as “parmesan”. I also live relatively close to Napa Valley and pretty much nobody here calls wine Champagne unless it’s actual Champagne, other than a few companies that still use that loophole I linked to.

              • @burningmatches@feddit.uk
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                27 months ago

                True, you don’t see producers selling fake “parmigiano reggiano” in the US (why bother when most Americans only know it as parmesan anyway). But the EU couldn’t stop them. It’d more likely be a matter for US regulators if they consider it deceptive.

            • Schadrach
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              27 months ago

              You can also make parmigiano reggiano in the US.

              I thought parmigiano reggiano was also a protected term/origin in the US. Like Vidalia onions are. Most of the other EU ones aren’t though.

              That’s why “parmesan” is a thing - it’s a cheese similar to parmigiano reggiano, but with a shorter minimum aging time, and no requirements on where it’s made or what the cows are fed - parmesan can be made with commodity milk anywhere rather than in one part of Italy from a specific breed of cattle fed at least 50% by grass grown in that part of Italy. Other than the aging time the process is similar, which is why the cheese is similar.

            • Sjmarf
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              7 months ago

              This isn’t entirely true, according the article. If a producer in the US was using the name “Champagne” before 2005, they can continue to do so, but producers can’t start using it anymore.

              It took two decades of negotiations, but finally, in 2005, the U.S. and the EU reached an agreement. In exchange for easing trade restrictions on wine, the American government agreed that California Champagne, Chablis, Sherry and a half-dozen other ‘semi-generic’ names would no longer appear on domestic wine labels – that is unless a producer was already using one of those names.

              • @danA
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                27 months ago

                That’s why I said “some wineries” :)

        • qyron
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          57 months ago

          I’m as territorial and proud of what is made in my country as the next dude but the lengths taken to protect some products, especially by french and italian are ridiculous.

          • @seejur@lemmy.world
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            07 months ago

            I kind of like it, because it becomes a small club where all members know each other and control each other. The product price is directly linked to the quality of the product, so all producers have a vested interest in controlling their neighboring producer.

            It also makes sense for agricultural products, where certain climate and earth composition influence the outcome a lot

            • qyron
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              7 months ago

              Off the top of my head I can name three products unique to my country which we made sure to DOP (Protected Origin Denomination). These are:

              Vinho do Porto (Port Wine)

              Queijo Serra da Estrela (Serra da Estrela Cheese) This is a cheese made from sheeps milk, that is specially made using a plant extract for curdling and has to be buttery in consistency; if solid, by aging, it needs to be hard as a rock yet brittle when cut

              Queijo S. Jorge (Saint Jorge Cheese) this one is essentially our version of parmesan cheese, very hard and salty, aged a minimum of 6 months to years

              Every single one of these products is unique, as it has specific production techniques and quality parameters that need to be observed and need to be manufactured in specific regions in order to receive the DOP seal yet we knock off these products ourselves.

              There is no need for a specific producer to protect their product with complex and sophisticated techniques like the one in the post because rules are established in seat of law and the seal obtention follows very strict proceedings and regular inspections and quality control.

              The knock offs are often manufactured by DOP producers. The end product is similar if not the same as the DOP but fails to observe some minute parameter, like not using a specific milk or variety of grape, with no loss of quality to the end consumer and often at the same price.

              Counterfeiting these products is a crime but between the specific and controlled labels, it is just not worth the hassle. And internationally, it is even less worth it. South Africa knocks off Port Wine, produced by descendants of portuguese there; we sat down with their Chamber of Commerce and agreed they could call it Port like or Port style but not Port: they sell theirs, using our tradition and reputation, and cross advertise the original.

              Everybody wins.

        • AwkwardLookMonkeyPuppet
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          47 months ago

          Same for Lambic. For cheese and alcohol the region is important. All of these products have micro cultures or yeast in them. For Lambic, it’s a naturally occurring yeast. If they allow other beers to be produced in that region, then the commercial yeasts will dominate the natural Lambic yeasts in the finished product, and you will end up with a different end result. So the regional specification is a quality control method to ensure you get the exact same microbiology as has been used for hundreds of years.

      • @danA
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        127 months ago

        Just like someone selling lemonade but calling it “Sprite”.

        In Australia, we actually do use “lemonade” to refer to drinks like Sprite, lol. We don’t really have the American-style non-carbonated lemonade.

        • Gyoza Power
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          77 months ago

          You got it backwards. He meant that it’s the same as selling lemonade while trying to pass it as Sprite because of the branding.

    • @PraiseTheSoup@lemm.ee
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      157 months ago

      It’s because the use of the name parmigiano reggiano requires that the cheese come from a certain region of Italy (or somewhere in Europe). There’s nothing else special about it. Counterfeit cheese in this case is just the same exact cheese but made elsewhere and likely sold for cheaper.

      Source: I work in cheese and also Wikipedia several months back

      • @meliaesc@lemmy.world
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        127 months ago

        I’m picturing you as an average office worker, but with a Willy Wonka-esque boss who has replaced all of the furniture with various types of dairy products.

      • @Akisamb@programming.dev
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        57 months ago

        That’s not exactly true. If you make parmigiano you have to follow pretty strict manufacturing procedures to ensure that the cheeses have the same taste.

        It’s pretty much the same thing as a brand except it’s not produced by one structure but several independent structures. The main advantage is that you know what you are getting.

        • @Knightfox@lemmy.one
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          17 months ago

          In this case you may be right, but region protected products can be quite ridiculous. For example Bourbon:

          • Produced in the U.S. and its Territories (Puerto Rico), as well as the District of Columbia
          • Made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn
          • Aged in new, charred oak containers
          • Distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume)
          • Entered into the container for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume)
          • Bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume)

          (Source Wikipedia)

          That’s pretty fucking generic except for the made in USA portion. If I’m not mistaken Champagne has similarly silly restrictions with no significant difference.