Highlander Sheep Cheese Becomes Poland's First Food Product Under EU Trademark Protection

A Polish soft cheese made from sheep's milk with a "willowy green shade" on Monday became the nation's first product to be protected under EU regulations.

The salty-tasting Bryndza Podhalanska, mostly handmade in Poland's southern mountain region of Podhale, joins a list of 800 products awarded a geographic trademark in the EU, such as Italy's Parma ham or Frances' Roquefort cheese.

Made from the milk of Polish mountain sheep, the cheese is only produced from May through September and requires 10 stages before it ripens. Only cheese using traditional methods from the Tatra region of Poland can bear the name.

"Its color may be white, creamy-white or with a willowy green shade," the formal trademark application says.

Bryndza was first mentioned in written records in 1527 and many references suggest it was used as a way of payment.

Poland joined the EU in 2004.