Where do champagne, Parma ham and Allgaeuer Bergkaese come together? Where do Bavarian beer and oysters from Marennes Oléron meet? At the summit meeting of gourmet delights of course: within the select group of specialities awarded EU protection of origin.
Since the 1960s, the European Union has been working on developing and enshrining in law uniform standards for the quality, among other things, of foodstuffs.
A key milestone was achieved in1992: the first European regulation on the "protected geographical indication" and "protected designation of origin" was adopted in this year. Since then consortiums (e.g. farmers and companies producing typical regional specialities) have been able to request EU protected designation of origin for their products.
Many world-renowned specialities and insider tips traded among connoisseurs are already protected from imitation:
- from France, e.g. Champagne, duck liver pate, rice from the Camargue or Provencal Honey
- from Italy, e.g. Parma ham, Aceto Balsamico from Modena, Pizza Napoletana, buffalo mozzarella or Parmigiano Reggiano
- from Greece, e.g. feta or Kalamata olive oil
- from Spain, e.g. Manchego, Serrano ham or saffron from La Mancha
- from Austria, e.g. Steirisches Kuerbiskernoel or Wachauer Marillen
- from Germany, e.g. Hessischer Apfelwein, Lueneburger Heidschnucken, Lausitzer Leinoel, Luebecker Marzipan or Aachener Printen
- and from the speciality land of Bavaria, e.g. Allgaeuer Emmentaler, Allgaeuer Bergkaese, Bayerisches Bier, Bayerisches Rindfleisch, Nuernberger Rostbratwuerste, Abensberger Spargel and Schrobenhausener Spargel.
The EU Commission has compiled a database for protected product designations from all over the world.