Denominació d’Origen Protegida
Hazelnuts from Reus, rice from the Ebro Delta, pears from Lleida, butter and cheese from Alt Urgell and La Cerdanya in the Pyrenees… olive oil from Siurana, Les Garrigues, l’Empordà… sorry, my mouth is watering too much to keep on writing.
These are some of the yummy Catalan foods boasting the Protected Designation of Origin of the European Union: right up there with the Gorgonzola, Feta, Parma ham, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Puy lentils, Kalamata olives and jamón serrano.
Of the three different seals for foodstuffs (not including wines and spirits which are under a special regime), the strictest is the Protected Designation of Origin for products closely linked to a sense of place discernible in the flavor of the food – that special ‘somewhereness’.
To qualify for a PDO, the product must have qualities and characteristics which are essentially or exclusively due to its region of production: i.e. climate, the nature of the soil and local know-how. It must also be produced, processed and prepared exclusively within that region.
But never mind the theory – just eat. It’s one of the great joys of living in Catalonia.
(And don’t you just love the logos!)