The European Union has established designations for food products that protect both the places of the food’s origin and the makers of the food.
Of course, all European countries benefit from these designations, but none more so than Italy, which has more products than any other registered as “PDO” or “PGI,” which we’ll explain here…
- PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin)— PDO identifies a product that is made, processed and produced in a specific geographic area that has been thoroughly surveyed. The PDO designation is applied to products from a particular region/country having features that are primarily or exclusively attributable to the geographic environment (including natural and human elements) and that are produced and processed within the defined area.
- PGI (Protected Geographic Indication)—In this case, at least one stage of production or processing of the product takes place within the designated area. In addition, the product has a certain reputation. PGI designates a native product of the region/country whose qualities, reputation and features can be attributed to its geographic origin, and whose production and/or processing take place within that area (at least one stage of production must take place within the designated area).
There are many products in supermarkets and even specialty stores that have Italian names, but no real tie to Italy. By purchasing products with the PDO or PGI designations, you’re assured of authenticity—you’ll be putting real Italian flavors on the table.
Then pour a glass of Italian wine—or any good wine, for that matter—and you’ll be dining in style.