What’s a PDO cheese?
The acronym P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin) is affixed to some important traditional Italian cheeses. This label refers to the region and production area of a specific cheese, whose characteristics are strictly related to a geographic area, the only place where it can be produced.
All P.D.O. products are subject to a set of traditional codified rules within the framework of a detailed Production Specification provided by the European Commission.
This procedure establishes the product’s characteristics, ranging from production techniques to labeling and marketing rules. Products must undergo a complex validation process to obtain the P.D.O. registration. Only the products that manage to get through this process, will be authorized to use the P.D.O. label and the European logo (yellow sun in a red field) through which they can be identified.
In Italy there are 47 P.D.O. and 1 P.G.I cheeses and dairy products. Our country is thus the second world producer of P.D.O. cheese.
This guide published by Afidop (the Italian association that gathers the consortia in charge of the protection of P.D.O. and P.G.I. cheeses) can help you to diver these great Italian products.