The European Court of Justice ruled yesterday that Parmesan cheese can join the ranks of Champagne and true Balsamic vinegar as a food that’s only legit if it comes from a certain city or region. For Parmesan, the place is Parma, Italy, where folks have been making the popular hard cheese for almost a millennium.
This was spurred not so much by Parma wanting more validity and marketability for its cheese but from resenting Germany’s use of their name and rep.
But now I wonder what will become of all those menus with chicken, eggplant, and veal Parmesan? Does the stuff covered in marinara and melted mozzarella also have to include authentic Parmanese Parmesan?
Next time you’re at an Italian food joint, why not have a little fun? Flash a fake badge from the European Union Commission on Culinary Restrictions, feign the European accent of your choice, and start interrogating them. I especially recommend this if they serve veal parm.