30 August 2008

Portuguese Typical Products: European Classification System

Hi everyone.
Portugal is a small country, in size and population, but we have so many types of regional food that I decided to start a new section called " Portuguese Typical Products" to share our goods & culture.
To start this section today´s post is about Portuguese Typical Products and the way they´re classified.

In 1992, the European Union created three systems known as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) to promote and protect different food products (http://ec.europa.eu).
In Portugal, these three systems are known as DOP, IGP and ETG (in the same order). This system was created with specific goals. European Commission website mentions that this system was created:
a) to encourage diverse agricultural production;
b) to protect product names from misuse and imitation;
c) to help consumers by giving them information concerning the specific character of the products.

So the three stamps you might find when buying Portuguese typical products are:

~ PDO (Protected Designation of Origin, in Portuguese DOP) it´s the term used to describe products which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how. For example, cheese, pork and beef, fruits, etc.

~ PGI (Protected Geographical Indication, in Portuguese IGP) the geographical link must occur in at least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation. In Portugal we have different regions which have specific products, like meat or olive oil from Alentejo region.

~ TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed, in Portuguese ETG) does not refer to the origin but highlights traditional character, either in the composition of the product or the way it was produced. For example, hand-made and made in wood oven.

In future posts of this section I will list Portuguese typical products and describe their origins and traditions the best way I can. I think it will be interesting for those who read the blog and useful for future visitors of my country. As I mention in the first post of Portuguese Menu, I want to share more than just recipes of my country, I´d like to share a little of our culture too.
For me this task will be a pleasant investigation project because, despite being Portuguese, I don´t know all the costumes of each region of Portugal. See you soon.

References and Images: http://ec.europa.eu/

No comments: