This week, a big debate was settled. It involves one of Switzerland’s most precious assets – cheese. A US subsidiary of a Swiss cheese company was using the Swiss name Gruyeres on its cheese. The Gruyeres region AOC was very upset as the US has very weak protection on designation of origin.
In Europe, its very common for wines to have AOC or DOC, ensuring that with this designation, the product you are buying comes from the original source. Kind of like how champagne can’t come from anywhere but Champagne, France. Everything else is just sparkling wine.
Gruyeres specifically comes from a special region in Switzerland. They didn’t want to dilute that designation with cheese made in a similar fashion in a different area….like in this instance, the US.
I noticed today a tram advertisement for Le Gruyère that reads “Never forget where it comes from.”
Take note – don’t mess around with Swiss cheese.
SwissInfo.ch – Emmi surrenders Gruyere label in US
The Swiss Watch Blog – Famous Swiss Foods: Cheese
The Swiss Watch Blog – Gruyeres, Switzerland