A war against knock-off Parmesan cheese is fermenting in Italy.

Officials in Italy are pushing for regulation in the European Unionthat would clearly demarcate authentic Parmesan cheese of Italian origin in order to differentiate their products from "knock-off" Parmesan cheeses made in places like Wisconsin and Ukraine.

Joining Boston Public Radio to weigh in on this topic was Corby Kummer. Kummer is a senior editor at The Atlantic, an award-winning food writer, and a senior lecturer at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy.

Kummer explained that while the term "Parmigiano-Reggiano" can only legally be used to describe cheese made in one region of Italy to exact specifications, manufacturers have landed on the term "Parmesan" as a catch-all to describe cheeses made outside Italy.

"The term is 'Parmesan' is completely unregulated and can't be, but 'Parmigiano' is. Italian cheesemakers have been furious about this for decades," Kummer said.

Kummer said he personally always opts for the real thing.

"It is the one essential ingredient in my refrigerator," he added.