According to the EU high court, “feta” is not a generic word; it is unique to Greece. Which means only the Greeks can make and market feta, kinda like “champagne” in France. Here’s the article and an excerpt:
- Despite its many imitators, Greece remained the main European producer and consumer of feta cheese, the court said. “The production of feta has remained concentrated in Greece, with more than 85 percent of (European) Community consumption of feta, per capita and per year, taking place in Greece,”
I find this sort of thing fascinating, but also troubling. As the article noted, where will this all end? Who will lay claim to mozzarella, gouda, bie — you get the idea.
It seems to me that you shouldn’t need a court to help you brand a product. And just because people can only get “sparkling wine” from a California vineyard doesn’t mean you don’t think of it as champagne anyway. But you can’t blame the Greeks for trying to protect their cheese. They even have a Web site up: FetaMania!.