Protected Designation of Origin label

Madrid |
dop label
DOP Label

When you are about to pick a product from a supermarket shelf you are supposed to first check its brand, features, and price before taking any decision. In some cases, where the brand is not decisive, you rely on the retailer's endorsement to support your decision.

Unlike other products, most foodstuffs and agricultural products don’t have any recognizable brands or support from any organization. That makes it harder to pick the best quality (or value for money) product out of a wide range of supply, only based on our knowledge or previous experience.

Since 1992, the European Union has been promoting among foodstuff and wine producers to get associated with Protected Designations of Origin (PDO), in Spanish Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP), that help them to market their products better while providing them legal protection from product name misuse or counterfeit.

From the consumer point of view, the PDO framework identifies products that are grown, produced, processed, and prepared in a specific geographical area, using the recognized know-how of local producers and ingredients from the region concerned. Producers must adhere to a precise set of specifications defined by the regulatory body which in turn is approved and supported by the EU.

Note: there is another slightly different designation as well, called Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) that does not require growing/supplying all the ingredients from the same geographic area, focusing on how they are processed and prepared.

Acclaimed Spanish products with PDO

There are PDO in almost all EU member countries, although more than 80% of them are registered in 6 countries: Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Germany. In Spain, they are called Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP). In this link you can find them all.

dop products
DOP products from Spain

There are 102 PDO in Spain and 88 PGI, of which we highlight just a few, as an example

Pimentón de la Vera (paprika)
Located in the Southwest of Spain, within the region Extremadura, this area produces outstanding smoked paprika, in three different flavors: sweet, hot, and sweet/hot. Paprika with the Protected Designation of Origin ‘Pimentón de la Vera’ means the product from grinding the totally red (pepper) fruits of the Jaranda, Jariza, Jeromín, and Bola varieties collected when they are ripe and dried using oak and/or holm oak wood in the traditional fashion of the ‘La Vera’ region.

Vinagre de Jerez (vinegar)
Spanning the same area as the Sherry wine region (Southwest of Spain, in East Andalusia), this PDO produces vinegar with a color between gold and mahogany and a dense and oily appearance. Its aroma is intense and lightly alcoholic, with notes of wine and wood predominating. The suitable wines to make the vinegar are acidified and aged in wooden barrels, leading to different categories depending on the age, from six months minimum up to ten years.

Azafrán de la Mancha (saffron)
Saffron comes from the pistils of a flower called Crocus sativus, once they have been sufficiently dried by toasting it over slow fire rather than sun drying. Also, the threads are required to have a minimum length (22 mm) to be sold, given that it is not allowed to be sold in powdered form. Within the packets, the amount of residues or foreign matter (sand, insects…) is very limited (<1%).

Related posts

Saffron: the Gold of the Spices

Saffron is one of the most appreciated spices in history. Find out why here, as well as some tips for buying and cooking with it.

Spain's Wine 101

Find out which are the most famous winemaking regions and wine types in Spain. This post will guide you to identify and drink the most genuine and typical ones from this country.

What is Iberico pig ham?

What makes so special the Iberico Ham? This particular breed, only found in Spain has unexpected benefits for your health

All Posts

Follow us on: