There are 31 food products in Tuscany marked with the European labels PGI and PDO
There are some high quality food products in Tuscany that belong to a specific area and have obtained a European designation of quality label: PDO Protected Designation of Origin (DOP in Italian) and PGI Protected Geographical Indication (IGP in Italian). Both brands allow the consumer to know with certainty the origin and characteristics of the food they buy. They represent also a guaranty for the producers themselves against any imitation:
DOP or PDO (Protected Designation of Origin): This is a designation given to agricultural products or foodstuffs whose production, preparation and processing occur in a given geographical area and whosequality or other characteristics are essentially linked to this area.
IGP or PGI (Protected Geographical indication): is a designation given to agricultural products or foodstuffs whose production, preparation or processing occur in a given geographical area and whose quality, reputation or other characteristics can be attributed to its geographic origin (including natural and human aspects).
Tuscan cantucci - Cantucci Toscani IGP (throughout the region): cantucci are very popular oblong-shaped crunchy biscuits from Tuscany. They’re made with with flour, eggs, butter, sugar honey and almonds and served as dessert with a glass of Vinsanto.
Pecorino Toscano cheese DOP (throughout the region): the cheese is prepared with full cream, pasteurized ewe's milk, often by farm-based cheese producers. It is generally regarded as a hard cheese, frequently used for grating, and to achieve this characteristic hard texture, the cheese should be left alone for at least four months. It’s produced in Lazio, Toscana and Umbria.
Pecorino delle Balze Volterrane cheese (Volterra and surroundings): Pecorino delle Balze Volterrane is a very special cheese made with raw sheep's milk and using exclusively vegetable rennet from cardoon flowers. It can be fresh, semi-aged or matured and it's produced in Volterra and surroundings (Pomarance, Montecatini Val di Cecina, Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, Monteverdi)
Finocchiona IGP (throughout the region): it’s a soft and scented salami made with top quality meat cuts and seasoned with wild fennel seeds (finocchietto). Its origins date back to the Middle Ages, when wild fennel seeds were used as a cheap alternative to expensive pepper. Finocchiona is a firm favourite in Tuscany and has been since the fifteenth century, from the general population right up to the noble classes. It is said that even Machiavelli was particularly fond of Finocchiona. More info, here
Mortadella Bologna IGP (throughout the region):it is a pure pork cooked sausage, cylindrical or oval with pink color and intense aroma, slightly spicy. It’s produced in Emilia Romagna, Piemonte, Veneto, Tuscany, Trento, Marche, Lazio and Lombardy.
Toscano IGP Extra virgin olive oil (throughout the region): Tuscan extra virgin olive oil with a protected geographic origin binds the whole production in the Tuscan Region, starting from the growing of the olives to the extraction of the oil, including its packaging.
Chianti Classico DOP Extra virgin olive oil (Chianti area): the production area corresponds to the area delimited for Chianti Classico wine production and covers numerous municipalities in the Siena and Florence provinces. As for the organoleptic evaluation, the oil must range from deep green to green with golden nuances and have a fruity aroma and a bitter, slight pungent flavor.
Terre di Siena DOP Extra virgin olive oil (Siena area): olives must be produced in the hilly territories of the province of Siena dedicated to oil production. Color must range from green to yellow, with color variations with the passing of time. The taste has some bitter and pungent notes.
Lucca DOP Extra virgin olive oil (Lucca area): this olive oil is produced in a defined geographical district of the province of Lucca. It has a fruity, basically sweet olive taste from light to medium and with pungent, bitter sensations.
Seggiano DOP Extra virgin olive oil (Monte Amiata): it’s exclusively obtained from olive groves that have at least 85% of the Olivastra Seggianese cultivar. The product features have the following organoleptic characteristics: color from green to gold fresh, net olive odor; flavor: clean with herbaceous notes.
Garfagnana spelt – Farro della Garfagnana IGP (Garfagnana area): perfect and healthy for all your summer salads and winter soups! Farro, or spelt, is a truly ancient grain. It was a favourite dish of the Romans who used it to feed their legions. Nowadays, in a particular area of Tuscany called Garfagnana it is still widely produced and eaten.
Tuscan bread - Pane Toscano DOP (throughout the region): Tuscan bread is commonly 5-12 cm high and weighs from between 900 g to 2 kilos. It’s made using starter, water and wheat flour mixed together. Rectangular or rhomboidal, its crust is reddish-brown, the dough is soft and the flavor is strictly bland because of the complete lack of salt.