Stop in the province of Ragusa for the European Igcat commission that will decide whether Sicily can be recognized for 2025 as a “gastronomic region of Europe.” Also visit Progetto Natura’s maturing warehouses where Ragusano DOP cheese is made.

RAGUSA – The European commission Igcat (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) is meeting with Sicily’s gastronomic excellences in order to see if all the conditions are in place to obtain recognition as a “gastronomic region of Europe 2025.” The island has already submitted its candidacy thanks to Dos, the body chaired by Massimo Todaro that groups Sicilian protection consortia and has obtained the support of the Sicilian Region.
This ambitious initiative aims to recognize and celebrate Sicily’s unique gastronomic and culinary richness and to promote its cultural identity through food. To achieve this goal, it is essential that an independent committee thoroughly evaluate the application. As of yesterday, Igcat committee members landed in Sicily for a week-long tour, an extraordinary journey through culinary delights. Today the stop in the province of Ragusa, the most agricultural province in southern Italy, and the presence in some significant realities including the scientific laboratories of Corfilac and the warehouses of Progetto Natura dedicated to the maturing of Ragusano Dop cheese.
Greeted by director Salvatore Cascone, committee members were surprised by what is now identified by all as the temple of cheese. After all, Progetto Natura is the largest milk collection cooperative in Sicily and a real pillar in the production of the historic Ragusano DOP cheese. A key role in Sicilian agribusiness, a concrete contribution even with respect to Sicily’s candidacy. During their visit, the commissioners had the opportunity to learn firsthand about the production process of Ragusano DOP cheese and to appreciate the dedication and passion with which Progetto Natura preserves and promotes this age-old dairy tradition. Representatives of the Ragusano Dop Protection Consortiums, represented by Enzo Cavallo, Pomodoro di Pachino Igp, Carota di Ispica Igp, represented by Massimo Pavan, and Olio Dop Monti Iblei, represented by Peppino Arezzo, also spoke in the auditorium. The committee then moved to Modica to meet with the top management of the Modica Igp Chocolate Consortium at the chocolate museum. These consortiums work tirelessly to protect and promote the island’s traditional products while ensuring their authenticity and quality. And in this sense in the meeting with the European commissioners companies and consortia played a crucial role in demonstrating the diversity and richness of Sicily’s food and wine offerings. Now the commission will continue its visits to Sicily to carefully evaluate the candidacy, with the hope that taken Sicily can boast the title of “gastronomic region of Europe 2025,” thus opening up new scenarios dedicated to culinary and cultural celebrations that will attract visitors from all over the world.

September 5, 2023

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