I'm a Food Network junkie and the other day I heard a show host mention something about a type of Italian ham that is protected by law. I thought I misheard because the thought of protecting ham sounds so bizarre, but it turns out the host was right.

Here are some other “special” foods and drinks protected by laws around the world:

Prosciutto di Parma – this is the food I heard mentioned that was protected by law. This Italian cured ham must only be made in Parma, a region of southern Italy.

Bavarian pretzel - The European Union just added the Bavarian pretzel to its ”protected origins” list. That means that only pretzels produced in the southern German state of Bavaria can be sold as Bavarian pretzels.

Parmigiano-Reggiano – Italy also has this cheese protected. Not sure if what you're holding in your hand at the grocery store is the real deal? You’ll know it’s authentic by looking for a special stamp on the rind.

Scotch – to be the real deal, Scotch must be distilled and fermented in Scotland.

Champagne – The Champagne region in the northeast of France is the only place that can make champagne. Anything not produced there should, by law, be called "sparkling wine."

Balsamic vinegar di Modena - Italy takes the top rank of foods protected by law, including this high end vinegar that can apparently take the flavor of a dish to new heights.