This week the European Commission awarded its Traditional Specialty Guaranteed label (TSG) to the traditional dry smoked sheep cheese produced in Slovakia, thereby giving it its own distinctive and protected identity.
The label differs from the other two labels issued by the EU: the so-called PGI Protection of Geographical Indications and PDO Protection of Designation of Origins, as these indicate that a product is produced in a certain region or country or is made by some authorised producer.
The smoked sheep cheese, on the other hand, can be produced by anybody who wants to make it, but the process of producing it and the inputs have to meet certain criteria. For instance, an essential requirement is that the sheep milk comes from sheep that graze in the mountains and the drying and smoking process have to be done in the traditional way.
Other Slovak products hoping to join the ‘elite’ include the Liptov Salama, the Spis Sausage or the Bratislava sweet pastry rolls.