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Sicilian chocolate could soon have special protected status
Posted on 17/10/2017

CultureItaly

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If Sicilian chocolate artisans get what they want, their specialty product could soon join parmesan, champagne and pork pies on the EU's Protected Geographical Indication list.

The charming town of Modico holds an artisan secret

The charming town of Modico holds an artisan secret
© Sabino Parente/123RF

The relatively cooler temperatures also mean that the butter and sugar are not entirely broken down, and so you're left with a texture that is rich and slightly grainy, which sets the chocolate apart. No milk and very little sugar are added, making for a healthier chocolate.

According to The Local Minardo stated that: "This prestigious product is a true treasure for our region and must therefore be protected and safeguarded from imitation at all costs."

Permission has already been granted for PGI status, however it has not yet been officially accepted. If it is, it will be the first protected chocolate in Europe.

Today, they still keep the process very simple. Contrary to many modern, more industrial chocolate-makers, these artisans never heat the chocolate over 40 degrees. This is thought to preserve beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants, and, apparently, a chocolatey aphrodisiac.

So what's so special about this particular chocolate? Well, the recipe and the process are remarkably similar to those used by the original chocolate-lovers, the Aztecs. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers brought the technique back to Europe, and Sicily, at the time under the control of Spain, was one of the first places where chocolate garnered popularity. The way of doing it has changed very little since.