Romania: Transylvanian cheese gets coveted EU recognition

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The European Union has officially recognized a brand of Transylvanian cheese, the second Romanian product to win recognition in a month.

Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu said Tuesday that Ibanesti white cow's cheese, a feta-style cheese produced by farmers in the northwest Transylvania region, was recognized Monday by the EU as a food brand produced in a limited geographic area.

The development means producers can apply for European funds to promote it abroad.

Mirdatod Prod, which produces Ibanesti cheese, named after a mountain village, had a profit of 850,000 lei ($210,000) in 2014, according to finance ministry figures.

Another product, Sibiu salami, was also officially recognized this month by the EU. The product, which was first produced in Transylvania in the late 19th century, was prized as an expensive delicacy in communism as food began to be rationed. It was a favorite of Nicu, the younger son of the former Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu.

Another product that Romania hopes will soon gain EU recognition is smoked bighead carp from the Barsei region in Transylvania.

The EU has about 1,400 registered local food product brands, most in Italy, France and Spain.