Christmas is coming and it is time to start preparing the decorations, your letter to Santa Claus and all the presents for your beloved ones. But it is also the time to plan the menu ahead, and, why not doing it with Geographical Indications protected products?
As you may know, the everyday term Geographical Indications (GIs) includes a number of European Union protected quality schemes, namely the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), the Protected Geographical Indications (PGI), and Geographical Indications (GI – for wines and spirits). All of them protect products which are known for their unique characteristics linked to their geographical origin.
By filling your basket with EU GI protected products, you are not only buying delicious high-quality products for your Christmas meals but also contributing to protect EU heritage and supporting EU rural communities, among other positive socio-economic impacts.
Thanks to its link to certain geographical areas, the GIs scheme prevents delocalisation from rural areas, creating job opportunities for young workers and positively impacting other industries in the region, such as agro-tourism.
Moreover, the codification of traditional production techniques contributes to preserve them for future generations. Most of these traditional techniques share common traits with those of the circular economy, such as the reusage of by-products. As a result, it is not difficult to find examples on how GIs contribute to sustainable development.
Last, but not least, the switch of focus from quantity to quality contributes to protect biodiversity, by, for example, promoting the recovery of grape varieties that were discarded in the past because of their low productivity, or in other cases, by limiting the intensification of farming areas.
So, for this Christmas why don´t we start with some thinly sliced Jamón de Guijuelo, and a delicious toast of Daujėnų naminė duona with melted Gouda and Pera Rocha do Oeste accompanied by an Estonian vodka punch; followed by a Radicchio Rosso di Treviso and Feta salad with Suska sechlońska, seasoned with Düsseldorfer Senf Mostert, Strandzhanski manov med honey and Istra olive oil.
Fish lovers might well go for a Lappländsk Fjällröding stuffed with Jambon d’Ardenne, with Lammefjordskartofler, as a side, while others might prefer a roasted Porc Marque Nationale Grand-Duché de Luxembourg with Stupavské zelé, a sauce of Budějovické pivo and freshly grated Steirischer Kren. A selection of Pays d'Oc and Malta wines are the perfect fit for all these dishes.
For the dessert, go for a tasty fruit cake made with Budaörsi őszibarack and Magiun de prune Topoloveni (and a generous portion of Rucavas baltais sviests butter). Afterwards, a good glass of Suomalainen Hedelmälikööri or an Irish Whiskey on the rocks – and some Koufeta Amygdalou Geroskipou for those with sweet tooth – can be the perfect ending for this EU GIs-themed Christmas meal.
You can find more ideas of GIs dishes for your Christmas menu in Sensational! Cooking with great European products, an open-access book edited by the European Commission, or you can merely replace some ingredients of your best recipes with GI-protected ones.
If you have decided to make your small contribution to the EU rural environment and at the same time taste some of the best products it has to offer, just add a few EU GI-protected products to your shopping list.
- Publication date
- 29 November 2021
- European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency