Italy tops in EU for bread, says farming union Coldiretti

(AGI) Rome, June 15 - With five types of bread recognised andprotected by the European Union, Italy is the undisputed leaderin the bread sector, with its loaves beating adversaries suchas the French baguette, the Italian Association of Farmers(Coldiretti) announced. The "Coppia ferrarese", "Pagnotta delDittaino", "Pane casareccio di Genzano", "Pane di Altamura" and"Pane di Matera" are registered products at a European levelthat have allowed Italy to conquer the top position in thecontinent, Coldiretti affirmed from its pavilion at the Expo.However, it emphasised, there are hundreds more traditionalspecialties that are registered at

(AGI) Rome, June 15 - With five types of bread recognised andprotected by the European Union, Italy is the undisputed leaderin the bread sector, with its loaves beating adversaries suchas the French baguette, the Italian Association of Farmers(Coldiretti) announced. The "Coppia ferrarese", "Pagnotta delDittaino", "Pane casareccio di Genzano", "Pane di Altamura" and"Pane di Matera" are registered products at a European levelthat have allowed Italy to conquer the top position in thecontinent, Coldiretti affirmed from its pavilion at the Expo.However, it emphasised, there are hundreds more traditionalspecialties that are registered at a regional level, such asCampania's "Pane cafone", Lombardy's "Pan rustegh", ValD'Aosta's "Pan ner", and Piedmont's "Lingua di Suocera". The"Pane casareccio di Genzano", the first Italian bread to obtainthe European Community's Protected Geographical Indication(PGI) in 1997, is in close competition with Basilicata's "Panedi Matera", which obtained the certification in 2008,Coldiretti said. But there is also a race between breads with aProtected Designation of Origin (PDO), such as the "Pane diAltamura" and "Pagnotta del Dittaino", the first from thecountryside near Bari and the second from the heart of Sicily,with a tradition that harkens back to myths of Demetra, thegoddess of harvests. Other breads, Coldiretti said, arerecognisable thanks to their shape: the twisted "Coppiaferrarese" was popular at Renaissance feasts; the "Pane diCerchiara", has been characterised by its weight of up to 3.5kilos and its hump shape; and the extremely thin "Pane carasau"from Sardinia has been fondly dubbed "music sheet", not onlyfor its infinitesimal width but also for its loud crunchiness.Many bread recipes, Coldiretti added, have led to therediscovery of grains and wheats that had been replaced by moremodern varieties in the name of productivity or technicalrequirements, such as the "Pane contadino di grano senatoreCappelli" in Molise, or the "Carosella" and "Solina" inAbruzzo, which revilatised two types of soft wheat grown sinceRoman times. The former has a low gluten content and balancedamounts of starch, making it versatile and excellent forbread-making, while the latter is particularly resistant to thecold, and is grown in the mountains in the Gran Sasso NationalPark. (AGI).

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