And well, we’re almost there. In our journey to the disovery of Prosciutto San Daniele Dop, we explained – step by step – how this great food comes along. From the strict selection of the raw materials and the utmost respect for them, going then through all the stages of the production process.
In the last epiosode of our journey we told you about the smearing and the piercing of the meat, which are simply the penultimate step before porceeding to the final stage: finding out if a thigh which has been lovingly looked after for as much as 400 days, can be really called a San Daniele Dop. Before understanding how this happens, it may be useful to figure out what a Dop brand is.
The Dop brand of Prosciutto San Daniele
In 1970 the Law n. 507/1970 was made to define the production rules and to safeguard the brand Prosciutto di San Daniele. It was then replaced by Law n. 30 on 14th February 1990. Both laws pointed out as a requirement the need to keep the traditional production, penalizing the producers who weren’t compliant with the established procedure. This was done to create a product which must always have the same final characteristics.
The logical consequence of all this was the recognition of the DOP brand, the Protected Designation of Origin, given on 12th June 1996 from the EU. This establishes the strong purposeful bond between the geographical area of San Daniele del Friuli and its distinct environmental features. In short: the qualities that Prosciutto acquires in this place aren’t repeatable anywhere else! The geographical restriction that concerns the production areas is a benchmark determined by the rules of the guidelines and it is followed to grant the repeatability of the sensory qualities of the product.
How do you get the Dop brand?
To obtain the recognition of the DOP brand you must follow a procedure, sending a request to the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF). This request must include the identifying characteristics of the product and the information about its historical origin within the territory. They must also contain the production guidelines and the detail on the third-party supervisor body, recognised by the Ministry, which deals with the compliance of the whole supply chain with the rules of the same guidelines.
This first request is followed by three stages of examination at various levels: an assessment of the motion made by the Region, another one by the Central State and finally one by the European Commission. If the Member States show no objection, the European Commission issues a registration regulation of the designation.
We have above explained how San Daniele received the Dop recognition. At his stage, the only thing that is left to understand is how the branding takes place! As we said, only on the four hundredth manufacturing day the last checks on the product from the IFCQ(the test institute) can take place.