Friday, July 11, 2003

We bring you this important summer alert on place names in products, thanks to the EU, where names like Parma ham and Parmesan cheese, as well as Champagne and Bordeaux are being avidly protected.

Be particularly careful at picnics this summer. You may not eat hamburgers, franfurters or wieners unless they are actually made in Hamburg, Frankfurt, or Wien (Vienna). You may have hot dogs in buns but only on a normal bun, not a French loaf or Dutch crunch unless the bread comes from France or Holland. If you serve grilled ground beef patties in a bun, that's what you'll have to call it. "Sandwich" is a place in England. You also can't use Salisbury steak.

You can have ketchup and mustard on your hot dog or on your grilled ground beef patties in a bun, but if the mustard is called Dijon it must be made in the Dijon region. Since the French would never produce Mayonnaise mixed with mustard, I'm guessing that Dijonaisse will no longer exist. Not to mention that Mayonnaise must be produced in the obscure Port Mahon on Minorca. Hollandaise and Worcestershire sauce must be imported.

If you want cheese on your burger make sure your cheddar or gouda is imported. Of course if you wish to put american cheese on make sure it is not imported. Monterey Jack cheese must presumably be made in Monterey, California. Camembert, Gruyere, Edam, Brie, Swiss, Gorgonzola (in Italy), Limburger (Belgium), Gruyere (in Switzerland), Havarti (name of a farm) and even mozzarella may even be threatened even though some give the etymology of mozarella as arising from a noun 'to cut'.

Also on the grill: beware Texas BBQ unless you live in Texas. No Buffalo wings outside Buffalo. No turkey anywhere in this country. Since Hoagie is the name of a shipyard where subs were made, bread resembling those subs may not be called a 'hoagie' unless it is made in that shipyard. No Phillie cheesesteaks.

Summer side dishes are fraught with danger, particularly salads like the nicoise. No locally-produced feta cheese, balsamic vinegar, champagne vinegar, parmesan, asiago, romano cheese, romaine lettuce, mesclun, boston lettuce, belgian endive, italian parsley, french or italian dressing. No brussel sprouts. No jalapeno peppers (Jalapa, Mexico), habanero peppers (Havana, Cuba) or scotch bonnets. No Boston beans or Yorkshire puddings or english muffins. Your italian bread and french bread won't be so fresh any more. Of course, since jerusalem artichokes are not a product of Jerusalem but a misspelling of 'girasole' we will have no jerusalem artichokes.

Drinks: Sherry (misspelling of Xeres in Spain), Port, Madeira (an island), Cognac, Mocha (town in Yemen), Amaretto (Saronna, Italy), Marsala (Sicily, Italy), Chianti, Chablis, Champagne, Bordeaux, Angostura (Venezuela), grenadine (Grenada, caribbean) Curacao (Caribbean island). No turkish or greek coffee. I'm not even going to get into mixed drinks like Cuba Libre or irish coffee.

Desserts: No Neapolitan or French vanilla ice cream, no baked Alaska, no Bavarian cream, no Devonshire cream, no creme anglaise, no chantilly cream, no Boston cream pie or Key lime pie. No cantaloupe -- that's a village in France. No Genoise unless it's made in Genoa. No Nanaimo bars unless they're made in Nanaimo, BC, Canada.

Orange county is applying for the naming rights to the fruit, as well as the drink and anything of the colour.

Thousand Island and Black Forest names may be disputed by more than one claimant.

Note that derivative place names may be threatened. After all, any tourist traffic to Venice Beach clearly threatens the touristic value of the real Venice. Expect upheaval if these places must be renamed: New York, London Ontario, Paris Ontario, Paris Texas, Rome Georgia, Athens Georgia.

What is still quite unclear are non-comestible products, items or activities. Denim may only be made in Nimes, France. We'll keep you posted on Chinese checkers, Roman candles and French braids. Of course, the French themselves will have to think of a new name instead of "tresses africaines".

With help of and

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