European Certificates of Origin

The sausage gets its individual character when it is supported by the name of the region it has originally come from. Throughout Europe there is a huge assortment of great foods. When a product acquires a reputation extending beyond national borders, it can face competition from other products which may pass themselves off as the genuine article and take the same name.

Our hats go off to the French who invented the idea in the 1930’s to protect their regional wines. The system used in France from the early part of the twentieth century is known as the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). Items that meet geographical origin and quality standards may be endorsed with a government-issued stamp which acts as an official certification of the origins and standards of the product to the consumer. In 1992, the European Union created the following systems to promote and protect food products:

pdo PDO - Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) - covers the term used to describe foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognized know-how.
pgi PGI - Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) - the geographical link must occur in at least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation.
tsg Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) - does not refer to the origin but highlights traditional character, either in the composition or means of production.

This system is similar to the French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system, the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) used in Italy, and the Denominación de Origen system used in Spain. The law (enforced within the EU and being gradually expanded internationally via bilateral agreements of the EU with non-EU countries) ensures that only products genuinely originating in that region are allowed in commerce as such. The purpose of the law is to protect the reputation of the regional foods and eliminate the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of inferior quality or of different flavor.

These laws protect the names of wines, cheeses, hams, sausages, olives, beers, and even regional breads, fruits, and vegetables. As such, foods such as Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, Asiago cheese, Camembert de Normandie and Champagne can only be labelled as such if they come from the designated region. To qualify as Roquefort, for example, cheese must be made from the milk of a certain breed of sheep, and matured in the natural caves near the town of Roquefort in the Aveyron region of France where it is infected with the spores of a fungus (Penicillium roqueforti) that grows in those caves. Fresh meat and meat based products (cooked, salted, smoked, etc.) are also covered by the law and many countries have already filed their products with the European Commission.

European Certificates of Origin don’t come easy and only a few countries were able to obtain them. Countries which were granted most Certificates of Origin for Meat Products and Sausages are: Portugal, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany. It shall be noted that countries that have joined the European Union at later dates still have products pending approval.

Any product that bears a certificate is certified as being unique and of the highest quality. It can be said that those certified products represent the best traditionally made products that the world has to offer. At the time of this writing (June 2010) the following countries received registrations for their meat products:

Austria

Tiroler Speck PGI 13/06/1997
Gailtaler Speck PGI 11/07/2002

Belgium

Jambon d’Ardenne PGI 21/06/1996

France

Canard â foie gras du Sud-Quest PGI 27/06/2000
Jambon sec etnoix de jambon sec des Ardennes PGI 26/02/2002
Jambon de Bayonne PGI 07/10/1998
Boudin blanc de Rethel PGI 26/02/2002

Germany

Thüringer Leberwurst PGI 18/12/2003
Thüringer Rostbratwurst PGI 18/12/2003
Thüringer Rotwurst PGI 18/12/2003
Schwarzwälder Schinken PGI 24/01/1997
Nürnberger Bratwürste; Nürnberger Rostbratwürste PGI 16/07/2003
Greußener Salami PGI 09/04/1998
Ammerländer Schinken; Amerländer Knochenschinken PGI 24/01/1997
Ammerländer Dielenrauchschinken; Ammerländer Katenschinken PGI 24/02/1997

Hungary

Szegedl szalámi; Szegedl téliszalámi PDO 15/12/2007
Budapesti téliszalámi PGI 21/04/2009

Italy

Prosciutto di S. Danielle PDO 21/06/1996
Salame di Varzi PDO 21/06/1996
Soprèssa Vicentina PDO 19/03/2003
Valle d’Aosta Lard d’Arnad PDO 02/07/1996
Valle d’Aosta Jambon de Bosses PDO 02/07/1996
Soppressata di Calambria PDO 21/01/1998
Salciccia di Calambria PDO 21/01/1998
Salamini italiani alla cacciatora PDO 08/09/2001
Salame Piacentino PDO 02/07/1996
Salame Brianza PDO 21/06/1996
Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo PDO 21/06/1996
Prosciutto Toscano PDO 02/07/1996
Prosciutto di Parma PDO 05/02/2008
Prosciutto di Modena PDO 21/06/1996
Prosciutto di Carpegna PDO 02/07/1996
Pancetta Placentina PDO 02/07/1996
Pancetta di Calabria PDO 21/01/1998
Culatello di Zibello PDO 02/07/1996
Coppa Placentina PDO 02/07/1996
Capocollo di Calambria PDO 21/01/1998
Ciauscolo PGI 11/08/2009
Speck dell’Alto Adige PGI 13/06/1997
Zampone Modena PGI 19/03/1999
Salame S.Angelo PGI 26/09/2008
Salame d’oca di Mortara PGI 25/06/2004
Salame Cremona PGI 23/11/2007
Prosciutto di Norcia PGI 13/06/1997
Lardo di Colonnata PGI 27/10/2004
Cotechino Modena PGI 19/03/1999
Breasola della Valtellina PGI 02/07/1996

Ireland

Timoleague Brown Pudding PGI 07/11/1000

Luxembourg

Salaisons fumées, marque nationale grand-duche de Luxembourg PGI 23/11/1996

Portugal

Presunto de Alentejo, Paleta de Alentejo PDO 26/09/2008
Presunto de Barrancos PDO 21/06/1996
Salpicão de Vinhais PGI 19/06/1998
Salpicão de Barroso-Montalegre PGI 16/02/2007
Presunto de Vinhais/Presunto Bisaro de Vinhais PGI 17/07/2008
Linquiça de Portalegre PGI 27/09/1997
Linquiça de Baixo Alentejo; Chouriço de carne de Baixo Alentejo PGI 16/02/2007
Chouriço Mouro de Portalegre PGI 27/08/1997
Chouriço de Portalegre PGI 27/09/1997
Chouriça de carne de Vinhais; Linguiça de Vinhais PGI 19/06/1998
Chouriço de Carne de Estremoz e Borba PGI 09/07/2004
Chouriça de Carne de Barroso-Montalegre PGI 16/02/2007
Chouriço de Abóbora de Barroso-Maontalegre PGI 16/02/2007
Chouriço azedo de Vinhais PGI 26/09/2008
Butelo de Vinhais; Bucho de Vinhais; Chouriço de Ossos de Vinhais PGI 26/07/2008
Chouriça doce de Vinhais PGI 26/07/2008
Sangueira de Barroso-Montalegre PGI 16/02/2007
Portugal Presunto de Camp Maior e Elvas; Paleta de Campo Maior e Elvas PGI 26/09/2008
Presunto de Santana de Serra; Paleta de Santana de Serra PGI 26/09/2008
Presunto de Barroso PGI 13/11/1996
Palo de Beja PGI 16/02/2007
Painho de Portalegre PGI 27/09/1997
Paia de Toucinho de Estremoz e Borba PGI 09/07/2004
Paia de Lombo de Estremoz e Borba PGI 09/07/2004
Paia de Estremoz e Borba PGI 09/07/2004
Morcela de Estremoz e Borba PGI 09/07/2004
Morcela de Cozer de Portalegre PGI 27/09/1997
Morcela de Assar de Portalegre PGI 27/08/1997
Lombo Enguitado de Portalegre PGI 27/09/1997
Lombo Branco de Portalegre PGI 27/09/1997
Farinheira de Estremoz e Borba PGI 21/08/2004
Cacholeira Branca de Portalegre PGI 27/09/1997
Alheira de Vinhais PGI 17/07/2008
Alheira de Barroso-Montalegere PGI 16/02/2007

Spain

Jamón de Huelva PDO 27/01/1998
Jamón de Teruel PDO 21/06/1996
Jamón Serrano TSG 13/11/1999
Guijuelo PDO 21/06/1996
Dehesa de Extremadura PDO 21/06/1996
Lacón Gallego PGI 08/05/2001
Salchichón de Vic; Longanissa de Vic PGI 29/12/2001
Jamón de Trevélez PGI 15/11/2005
Cecina de León PGI 21/06/1996
Sobrasada de Mallorca PGI 21/06/1996
Botilo del Bierzo PGI 10/10/2001

United Kingdom

Melton Mowbray Pork Pie PGI 30/06/2009

The products which were granted certification can be searched by the name or country of origin. There are details about the product and a brief description of its manufacturing process.

The complete list can be obtained from the European Commision/Agriculture & Rural Development:

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/schemes/index_en.htm