Cheese wedges.
June 6, 2018

EU Gets Egg On It's Face In World Cheese Championships

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

While the European Union (EU) tries to lock down cheese names to specific regions within European countries, it didn’t fare so well when other countries’ cheeses were judged to be superior in the 2018 World Cheese Contest in May.


These cheese names, known as geographical indications (GIs), are being locked down in EU trade agreements in Mexico, Canada and countries in Asia. Such agreements prohibit other countries from selling cheese with those names. The only problem:  World Cheese Contest results suggest cheesemakers from other countries can produce superior quality products.


A hard sheep’s milk from France did win the overall championship in the contest, which was held in Madison, Wis. But U.S. cheesemakers dominated the contest, winning 87 of the 121 contest cheese categories. Winners of mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, asiago, feta, munster, Havarti, brie and gorgonzola were all won by non-EU competitors. Even the parmesan category, which featured a cheese from Parma, Italy, was dominated by non-EU entrants and won by a U.S. cheesemaker.


An entry from Canada beat out France in the camembert category, leading one French publication to ask, “How Can It Be?” Another publication wrote: “Canada Horrifies France by Winning World Camembert Championship.”


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