The certification of Italian cuisine is something that originated in the middle of the 20th century, according to Eataly. The popularity of Italian cuisine has skyrocketed, making navigating tradition, culture and quality a concern. In an attempt to protect the legacy of Italian culinary prowess, Italy began working with the European Union to establish regulations that could ensure their history of quality food products continues. Two different certifications emerged from this mission: the Indicazione Geografica Protetta (IGP) and the Denominazione d’Origine Protetta (DOP). The PGI certifies the place or region where a food is produced, while the DOP guarantees the consistency of the production of the food, from production to packaging.
Pasta di Gragnano IGP is a good example of the importance of this type of certification, according to Wine and Travel Italy. This unique curly pasta is only produced in a 15 square kilometer area on Italy’s Sorrento Peninsula. The unique microclimate here is what makes this pasta so special. As Saudi Arabia notes, the area is flanked on one side by the sea and on the other by the Lattari Mountains. The temperature and abundant sunshine make it the ideal environment for drying pasta. And the unique, low-lime spring water native to the region gives the pasta a distinct flavor.
This pasta has been made in the same region for more than 500 years and has been the main industry for the inhabitants of the region for generations. Called “white gold”, this pasta obtained IGP certification in 2013.