The European Court yesterday granted Greece the sole right to the name feta cheese, after a lengthy battle in which countries like Denmark and Germany were battling for the right to call some of their white cheeses feta. The label feta cheese is now considered Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), and can only be used for cheese made from sheep and goat's milk, produced in Greece by special super secret recipes, modes of production, and certain geographic conditions.
A few folks are quite pissed off by this ruling, but still, I have to tend to agree that feta should indeed be Greek in origin. Go to any restaurant in America, and what do you find? The mere addition of feta cheese to any dish instantly makes it a Greek dish! It is amazing how easy it is to cross the cultural divide of food by a simple ingredient. By this measure, it would seem that Americans think all Greek dishes contain feta. Ok, maybe that is only partially true. Actually, some cooks use it more than others, and it is often found on a Greek table much like Americans have butter on their table.
I confess that personally, I am not horribly fond of feta. In small amounts, in certain dishes, it is fine, but too much feta always gives me some sort of horrid gastrointestinal problem. I suppose I haven't yet developed enough of a Greek constitution to be able to handle it.
Anyway, congrats to the Greeks for the sole use of feta. You might wanna step up production, however, because I anticipate there will be lots of demand. At least for those American "Greek" dishes.