Bryndza or “Cheese Paste”?

Bryndza Podhalanska, a Polish cheese made from sheep’s milk, has received a EU trademark.The European Commission decision means that only registered producers from southern Poland’s Tatrzanski and Nowy Targ counties and selected villages from neighboring Zywiec County are entitled to use the Bryndza Podhalanska name.

The trademark guarantees the cheese’s quality and that it is made in a traditional production process with specified components. The trademarking had one unintended effect. Some merchants, afraid of EU quality controls, have started selling the real product under the name: “cheese paste. They think that by doing so they will avoid the controls. But, according to Andrzej Skupien, deputy head of Tatrzanski county, that is a misunderstanding.

Bryndza is the first Polish product to receive an EU trademark. It joins a list of almost 800 regional delicacies from across the EU. The trademark will help promote Polish regional products and insure their quality, marketing experts say.

A trademark is expected soon on Oscypek, another brand of Polish cheese. Although a trademark application was filed earlier than for Bryndza, the process has taken longer because of a Slovak protest. Slovakia makes a cheese of cow’s milk that has a name similar to Oscypek. The sides have reached an agreement on both issues so Brussels is expected to make a decision soon.

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