The Surprising Reason Slovenia Is Going To Court Over Balsamic Vinegar

Food fight! Food fight! No, we're not talking about the kind of food fights you might've thought about. And they're happening all over the world: from Coney Island's competitive eaters of hot dogs at Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest to the English World Custard Pie Championship, where teams of four people throw custard pies at the opposing teams. 

But there are many more. In the Spanish city of Buñol, there's La Tomatina, a food fight in which people throw tomatoes at one another. And in Ivrea, Italy, there's the battle of the oranges, where teams of people throw oranges at each other over the course of three carnival days, per RadSeason

However, other food fights are much less fun and involve the EU's top court. For example, Politico revealed that Denmark lost a cheese fight with Greece. The Danish cheesemakers can't sell a cheese that's called "feta cheese" anymore because that name is reserved for a specific Greek cheese. And now, Slovenia is going to court over balsamic vinegar.

Italy's taking Slovenia to court over the use of the term 'balsamic vinegar'

The Guardian reports that Slovenia, a country that's neighboring Italy, is planning to standardize the name "balsamic vinegar" by marketing any type of wine vinegar that's been mixed with must or fruit juice as such. That didn't fly well with the Italians, who believe that the tradition of their geographically protected balsamic vinegar, Aceto balsamico di Modena, is now under direct threat. 

The Slovenian name "balsamic vinegar" doesn't sound exactly the same as "Aceto balsamico di Modena" to us, so it should be pretty clear that the two products are different. And the Italian one can only be produced in the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia, making things even clearer (per Italy Magazine). In 2019, the producers of Italian balsamic vinegar already lost one similar case against Germany because there are no restrictions on using the term "aceto balsamico."

And this is not Italy's first fight — Italy has already taken Croatia to the EU court over the word "prošek" because it sounds too similar to their "prosecco." But Italian prosecco is a dry sparkling wine, and Dalmatian prošek is a dessert wine made from dried wine grapes, so the difference is pretty apparent, per The Conversation. In both cases, all we can do is wait and see how these serious food fights will end.