Sunday, May 22, 2005
Greek Feta -- the genuine brand
When you order a Greek salad, you expect it to be made with genuine Greek Feta cheese. That's what the European Union Commission concluded after surveying 12,800 Europeans. Even so, of the approximately 200,000 tons of Feta cheese produced each year in Europe, only 80,000 comes from Greece. The rest is produced in Denmark, Germany and France So what's the difference? According to traditional Greek recipes, Feta is made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep and goats’ milk. That's what gives it its tangy taste and characteristic texture. But in Germany, Denmark and the other EU countries, cows’ milk is used almost exclusively.
That has prompted the European Union to register Feta cheese as Protected Designation of Origin (P.O.D.) -- associating the Greek character of Feta with Greece alone. It's a great move for Greece. Not so great for Germany and Denmark. They say Feta should be a designation of type, but not of origin. The EU didn't agree with them.
However, that doesn't stop you from ordering a Greek salad with imitation Danish Feta cheese, if you are so inclined.