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Article published the Friday 07 December 2012 - Latest update : Friday 07 December 2012

French cheese-makers can make Gruyère ... but it must have holes

With added extra holes! Gruyère cheese now officially made in France
Getty/Creativ Studio Heinemann


French farmers will be allowed to produce "Gruyère" cheese …as long as it has holes, the European Commission ruled Friday. Until now only Swiss Gruyère was protected by the European Union’s regional trading name system.

"The European Commission proposal to register the denomination 'Gruyere' as a protected geographical indicator has been approved" by a committee of EU experts, EU farming commission spokesman Roger Waite said.

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But it must contain holes "between the size of a pea and a cherry," and the French origin must be visible on packaging, so that there is no confusion with the more famous Swiss version.

To date, only Swiss Gruyère benefited from this degree of protection under a bilateral accord between the EU and non-member Switzerland.

Australian and New Zealand producers, as well as the American dairy industry, had lodged objections to the recognition of French Gruyère as a distinct product.

The decision reverses a 2010 ruling against the French bid.

tags: Agriculture - Cheese - Farming - Food - France - Gastronomy - Switzerland
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That looks like American

That looks like American Swiss cheese in the photo, nothing like Gruyère at all.