2008年2月28日 星期四

Parmesan Cheese

Business | 27.02.2008

EU Court Says Parmesan Cheese Must Come From Italy

The European Union's highest court has upheld the bloc's principle of protected food names, ruling that only "Parmigiano Reggiano" -- or those cheeses made in Italy -- can be sold as "Parmesan."

Everyone knows it, and virtually everyone enjoys it: grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled across a steaming bowl of pasta. But, it's been a hotly contested good, with countries wrestling over its name.

This week, the European Court of Justice, located in Luxembourg, rejected the idea that "Parmesan" is a generic name undeserving of protection.

"Only cheeses bearing the protected designation of origin (PDO) 'Parmigiano Reggiano' can be sold under the name 'Parmesan,'" the court decided, likely giving a boost to cheesemakers in Parma and the surrounding area in northern Italy.

The PDO system gives the cheese the same protection benefiting other European products, such as French camembert, which must come from Normandy, or champagne, which must come from the French region of the same name. Only products made in the place were the foods were first created can be sold under the traditional name.

Germany not responsible

Cheesemaker in front of slabs of parmesanBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Only the cheese produced in the area around Parma may be called "Parmesan"

But there's a hitch. The court also ruled that Germany did not have the responsibility to police or take action against non-Italian Parmesan suppliers whose products were on German supermarket shelves.

The European Commission in Brussels had taken Germany to the European Court of Justice for failing to protect Parmigiano Reggiano's PDO rights by not prosecuting the sale of "Parmesan."

"A member state is not obliged to take on its own initiative the measures required in order to penalize the infringement on its territory of PDOs from another member state," the ruling stated.

The court said that it was up to Italian authorities to prosecute.

"Still a victory"

The European Commission and Italian cheesemakers were pleased with the verdict nonetheless.

"The court has upheld the basis of our PDO system," Commission agriculture spokesman Michael Mann said, as cited by Reuters news service. "Parmesan is not a generic product -- you can only call it that if you follow the specifications of Parmigiano Reggiano."

"We lost the case because it was specifically about our thinking that Germany had a legal responsibility to prevent the sale of these products," he added.

People holding mugs of beer, ready to make a toastBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Germany has its own specialties

"The glass is half-full and half-empty," Igino Morini, spokesman of the Parmigiano cheesemakers' group, told DPA news agency. "Germany has been acquitted, but the court has recognized that the term 'Parmesan' can only be used for Parmigiano Reggiano."

Cheesemakers in the Italy who traditionally make Parmesan have been struggling to protect their product from cheaper, lower-quality copies from other areas.

The name "Parmigiano Reggiano," as well as the cheese's specific geographical origin and manufacturing process, won legal protection as a PDO in the EU in 1996.

Italy has the greatest number of PDOs -- 165 -- of any EU-member state. France has the second highest number, with the two countries sharing 40 percent of the total 772 products, including 78 types of cheeses.

The EU's list of protected names for farm products also applies to translations of the registered term or name across the 27-nation bloc.

DW staff (als)

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2008年2月25日 星期一

Spain's town of Soba warms to buckwheat

Spain's town of Soba warms to buckwheat



MATSUMOTO, Nagano Prefecture--When Yoshihiro Yamazaki heard that a Spanish village was named Soba, the buckwheat noodle-loving hotel operator took it as a good omen.

Sure enough, soba (buckwheat) originating from Nagano Prefecture is now being cultivated in northern Spain, thanks to Yamazaki's eager efforts.

Yamazaki, 52, who runs the Hotel Tamanoyu here, got the ball rolling when he participated in a cultural exchange event called the Festival de Una Flor (One Flower Festival) in Comillas, in Spain's Cantabria province, last October.

He said he wanted Spanish people to enjoy soba the way he does, so when he learned about the village of Soba, he believed that buckwheat would flourish there.

The province's government is also interested in the experimental cultivation of buckwheat in hopes that it can be turned into a cash crop.

Early last year, Yamazaki was invited to join in the exchange event by a Japanese contact.

"You are the only person we have found who can speak Spanish and is also an expert soba maker," the person said.

Yamazaki majored in Spanish at university. He also has a long-held love of soba making and eating. In fact, he makes soba noodles for his hotel's visitors.

After accepting the challenge, Yamazaki proposed growing buckwheat near the festival site and then making fresh noodles to serve the visitors.

He hoped the exchange would be an enduring one.

With approval from the Spanish government, Yamazaki and three other volunteers traveled to Spain in July last year to sow 20 kilograms of buckwheat seeds brought from Japan.

The three included Shoji Akabane, 58, a technical expert working for the Matsumoto Dental University, based in Shiojiri, Nagano Prefecture, who won a national amateur soba-noodle making contest in 2005.

Initially, the group planned to sow seeds at three locations. However, when a local staffer told them that a nearby village was called Soba, they knew that was the place they should sow.

"I felt it was fate," Yamazaki said.

The Soba village head loved their idea of growing soba in his village. A day after they made the proposal, a fallow field was offered. The village leader even helped the four Japanese plant the buckwheat.

At Santander, the provincial government seat of Cantabria, interest was soon stirred.

Both Nagano and Cantabria are highland regions with relatively cool climates.

Yamazaki met several agricultural officials when he arrived prior to the festival.

They told Yamazaki that they wanted to cultivate, on an experimental basis, several kinds of soba seeds in three locations in the province in different seasons.

The three locations vary in altitude, climate and soil quality.

The officials explained that the sites were all places where dairy farming had been prosperous until dairy shipments became restricted in recent years. Now, much dairyland lies fallow.

At the October festival, Yamazaki and several other Japanese kneaded the buckwheat dough, made noodles and boiled them up to serve in a hot broth.

About 170 people sampled bowls of soba, far more than the 120 initially expected. It was another good sign.

"I thought it showed that soba could be accepted in Spain," Yamazaki said.

After returning home, Yamazaki became the liaison between the Cantabria provincial government and the Nagano prefectural and Matsumoto city governments.

At the end of January, Comillas officials arrived in Japan to visit the city and prefectural government offices.

"In the future, we hope to establish commercial relations with Japan by exporting buckwheat flour to Japan," one official with the Cantabria provincial government said.

Yamazaki has high hopes.

"I hope this relationship will continue for a long time, even if it stretches thin (just like a soba noodle)," he said.(IHT/Asahi: February 25,2008)

2008年2月22日 星期五












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 「漢方というと敷居が高いイメージがあるが、若い女性が気軽に来てくつろげる場所にしようと思った」(代表の崎山久美子さん)という店内は、アンティー クの家具を配し、落ち着いた雰囲気でゆったり過ごせる。「体に良い食事をした」という気分もあって、心身ともに満たされた。

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2008年2月20日 星期三

German Star Chef Creates Special Space Menu for Astronauts

Food and Drink | 15.02.2008

German Star Chef Creates Special Space Menu for Astronauts

Tired of bland canned and vacuum-packed food, astronauts aboard the ISS will get some gourmet grub in future -- veal and a plum compote whipped up by a star German chef from the Black Forest.

Harald Wohlfahrt, one of Germany's most eminent chefs, is used to clients from all over the globe flocking to his gourmet temple in the Black Forest. But even this seasoned chef and recipient of three stars by the Michelin restaurant guides to Europe was probably not prepared for his latest cooking contract -- it came all the way from space.

German chef Harald WohlfahrtBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Wohlfahrt has the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for cooking

Wohlfahrt's fancy "Schwarzwaldstube" restaurant in Baiersbronn in the western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg is to provide meals for astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) starting next year.

The European Space Agency (ESA), co-owner of the orbiting laboratory complex, which recommended Wohlfahrt, said the ISS astronauts had so far been nourishing themselves on Russian and American nosh. Good food doesn't just keep the crew fit but also improves their motivation, the ESA said.

In keeping with that principle, the astronauts had requested stronger flavors and more soups and meat dishes because life on the sterile space station diminished the sense of smell and taste.

Taking his inspiration from southern Germany's hearty cuisine, Wohlfahrt has concocted a special space menu. For starters, there's a potato soup with chunks of black pudding followed by filet of veal and vegetables in a balsamic vinegar sauce, accompanied by a puree of white beans. The delectable-sounding meal is rounded by a compote of Black Forest plums with an aniseed sauce for dessert.

German astronaut Thomas ReiterBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: It's difficult to taste much in this position and sterile surroundings

Alas, the region's famous wines won't make it on to the menu since alcohol is banned on the ISS. Instead, there will be juice in a powder form that the crew will need to dilute with water. The elaborate grub will be filled in metal jars and the first load will be shot into space in March next year.

Wohlfahrt, 52, however, won't be serving the food himself. "No thanks. I prefer to keep my feet on the ground," he's reported to have said.

DW staff (sp)


FujiSankei Business i. 2008/2/20


 相次ぐ食品の偽装表示で、消費者の食に対する不安が高まっています。首相の諮問機関である内閣府の国民生活審議会は、「食の安心・安全に向けた体制整 備」に向けた報告書案の中で、「消費期限」と「賞味期限」に分かれている食品の期限表示を、「安全性を重視した『消費期限』を中心に『製造年月日』も併 記」する方法に変更するよう提案しました。





 表示期限は、厚生労働省の食品衛生法と農林水産省のJAS(日本農林規格)法の2つの法律で表示が定められています。制度改正後は、食品衛生法 では賞味期限を「品質保持期限」と呼んでいましたが、消費者にとって分かりにくいとの理由から、賞味期限に統一した経緯もあります。


 「消費期限」は、生菓子や弁当、食肉など製造日を含めて5日程度で急激に品質が低下する傷みやすい食品に表示します。決められた方法で保存して いれば、品質の劣化による安全性の欠如はないと判断された期間です。期限後は安全性に問題が生じる場合があるので、食べない方がよいとされています。


 一方、「賞味期限」はカップラーメンやスナック菓子、乳製品など比較的品質が劣化しにくい食品が対象です。期間内は、安全性はもちろんのこと、 味や風味などすべての成分で品質が十分に保たれ、「おいしく」食べられることが条件です。期限を過ぎても急激に品質が低下することはないため、すぐに食べ られなくなるというわけではありませんが、風味や味、色合いなどが劣化する可能性があるので注意が必要です。




2008年2月5日 星期二


2008 02 05 晚上與 林世彬先生家人聚 我是走路來回 中港路繁華 林蔭道也長得相當茂盛

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