The “Cheeses From France” map displayed in Whole Foods’ Detroit and Washington, D.C., locations was incorrectly labeled, causing consternation for customers. The cartoon map of the cheese-loving country placed the origin of every single cheese in the wrong location, which is a major faux pas.
Typically, the name of any French cheese signifies where it is made. The French government’s National Institute of Origin and Quality has rules that fromagers must follow to legally protect cheeses made in certain regions, and the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) certification guarantees that certain cheeses come from certain places. As some Twitter users pointed out, it would be illegal for some of the cheeses to be produced where Whole Foods’ map claimed they were being made.
Francophiles, geography teachers, and cheese lovers dragged the health food brand and its ridiculous map through the mud on social media.
Some Twitter users even offered to help redraw the map (one user actually did remake it), or at least educate the Whole Foods team on French geography and cheese laws.
A spokesperson from Whole Foods told Mashable, "Our stores are currently featuring wines and cheeses from France, and several locations mistakenly received an incorrect version of this map. We’re removing it from stores and correcting it."
If you know what region your cheese is from, it might help you build a perfect French cheese plate.