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Cuneo prosciutto wins EU label

Italy stretches lead in quality-food standings

15 December, 15:13
Cuneo prosciutto wins EU label (ANSA) - Brussels, December 15 - A 'prosciutto crudo' made in a northern Italian mountain valley on Friday increased Italy's domination of the European Union quality-food rankings.

The Crudo di Cuneo, made according to traditional methods handed down for centuries in an Alpine valley near the city of Cuneo, earned the EU's most prestigious laurel, a Protected Domination of Origin (PDO) certificate. The cured ham, which needs the valley's unique microclimate to prosper, is the third Italian food product to get a PDO in less than a week.

On Friday a chestnut from the Tuscan village of Caprese Michelangelo and the Piennolo tomato from the slopes of Mt Vesuvius also won the coveted seal.

Earlier last week real Neapolitan pizza was awarded a long-awaited Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) label.

Before the most recent recipients, in late October, a traditional sour cherry jam produced near Modena, 'Amarene Brusche di Modena' was awarded a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) seal.

'Ciauscolo', a large sausage from the Marche region, got a PGI in August.

Some 850 European products have been awarded one of the EU's three protected-origin laurels.

Italy far outdistances France and Spain for the number of its products which have qualified for one of the three EU quality seals, about 180.

Other recent additions have included Sicily's 'Pagnotta del Dittaino' bread with a PDO label; Roman suckling lamb, abbacchio romano, which earned a PGI label; and Modena's balsamic vinegar with a PGI label.

Italian culinary glories like Parmigiano, buffalo mozzarella, mortadella, lardo di Colonnata, Ascoli olives, pesto sauce and Pachino plum tomatos have been protected for some time but lesser-known munchies like Mt Etna prickly pears and Paestum artichokes have also swelled the ranks along with saffron from San Gimignano and L'Aquila.

A range of salamis, rices, honeys and nuts are also on the protected list.

Several up-and-coming regional wines have earned TGIs.

PDO identifies a product whose characteristics are exclusively dependant on a geographical origin and whose productive phases all take place in the specified area.

PGI defines a product whose characteristics can be connected with its geographical origin and that has at least one productive phase located in the specified area.

TGS distinguishes a product, whose raw materials, composition or recipe, production method or transformation, are of a traditional type.

photo: Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia with a slice of prized ham

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