CDO is the abbreviation of Controlled Designation of Origin, which refers to the regulations established in France to define quality standards for products such as cheese and wine, and to link the names of products to specific geographical regions. Most quality cheese makers try to obtain prestigious labels, decorations, “awards” and other titles in order to position themselves as “luxury cheese“. The cheese with CDO is no exception to the rule. If you ask yourself, “Is there any luxury cheeses? ” The answer is clearly Yes.
Cheese with CDO
The varieties of cheese that meet the controlled designation of origin standards will have an CDO stamp on their skin or sticker.
In order for a cheese to obtain the CDO stamp, it must be manufactured in a region to which the CDO status has been granted for that specific cheese, and it must be produced in accordance with the legal standards and the defined specifications.
Standards for CDO cheese
Several criteria define CDO cheese:
– Variety of the used milk
– Region the milk comes from
– Region where the cheese is made
– Cheese making and refinement techniques
– Overall cheese composition, rind type and fat content
– Appearance, size and shape of the cheese
– Flavor and taste
Importance of the region: One of the reasons why the place where the milk comes from and where the cheese is made is the terroir.
The terroir is mostly used to talk about wine, but it also counts for cheese. Terroir can be translated as ” earth or land ” and refers to the belief that the land from which a product comes affects the flavor of the wine or cheese.
What animals eat: grass, flowers, hay … and where does food come from, high mountain pastures or low valleys can affect the flavor of cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk.
Because cheese can also be affected by molds present in the air.
The exact location of its manufacture and refinement is also of a huge importance.
Another reason for the importance of the geographical area is the tradition, let us quote the example of the Roquefort, this blue cheese has been manufactured in the caves of Roquefort for centuries and will always be manufactured in these caves in the south of France.
The CDO standards were created to protect the quality and the integrity of the products. When choosing Swiss Emmental or Gruyère cheese, the consumer is sure to always find the same taste. A similar cheese made in another country will not have the same taste, flavor or texture.
The CDO in France and Switzerland for food products has been replaced by the PDO European label, exception made for the wine.
For fans, consumers and professionals, these CDO and PDO labels are a guarantee of quality and origin of the cheese they buy. So a Swiss Emmental with CDO will always have three essential characteristics:
• Always made from cow’s milk
• Always made of raw milk
• Always manufactured in the same region of Emmental
If any of these characteristics change, we will no longer be able to call it Emmental cheese.