I have brushed on this topic numerous times with passers by in the markets.
For the record: I grew up thinking "Parmesan Cheese" came in a green plastic tube that, mysteriously, never went in the fridge. While I was working in Italy I came to know Parmigiano Reggiano, an outstanding cheese that has to meet many criteria to be called by it's name, and presumably is the pure bred ancestor of the green tubes of my upbringing.
Every food product has its place, you'll still see me vigorously shaking that green tube over meat spaghetti some times. But I think it is important to keep the maintain the integrity and origin when creating derivatives. Capitalism lets us call anything whatever we want until the consumer pushes to address quality and origin
In this vein, Balsamic Vinegar may be one of the most misunderstood ingredients on the shelves. Meathead Goldwyn over at amazingribs.com. did a really good job summing it up. He also describes the process behind making true (or Tradizionale) Balsamic, which is very interesting in and of itself.