The right to access food also includes the right to know what is being eaten.
The European food legislation is determined to enable consumers to make informed choices about the food they consume and to prevent any practice that is likely to mislead them.
That is why the traceability of food is fundamental in European policies on food safety.
The purpose of food traceability is to make sure that a record is kept of the history of anything that enters the food chain, from raw materials all the way through its delivery to the final consumer.
Traceability allows the management of any eventual dangerous situations through the knowledge of production processes and the possible identification of production batches in case of emergency.
Traceability may be internal if the entire transformation process concerns a single company; but when the production process involves more than one company, then traceability must be in place for the entire production chain.
It is therefore fundamental to always read the label of food products, because it helps us make the right choices when buying them.
The following information is printed on the label:
There are about 25,000 tons of milk produced daily in our region. A huge amount is intended for human consumption, either fresh or shelf-stable and for transformation into dairy products passing through processes in milk plants, cooperatives and dairy processing industries.
It can be said that the Piedmont milk, whey and cheese-making industries are as impressive as the Milky Way galaxy: 2,700 companies with 150,000 heads of cattle that annually produce 9 million tons of milk.
A portion of this milk becomes cheese, and what a cheese as evidenced by 9 DOP products and 55 PAT products.
We choose milk according to:
Read the label because it...
Sterilized or Pasteurized?
Each type of treatment based on heat affects the characteristics of the milk itself and cannot inevitably be the same as freshly milked from a cow.
The higher the temperature (as in the case of UHT sterilization) the more the variation on milk properties (fat, protein, vitamins). Instead milk properties are better preserved in high quality fresh pasteurized milk.
Fresh milk is subjected to pasteurization treatment within 48 hours of milking and should be consumed within six days after it is treated.
Fresh Milk Should be Handled Carefully
Freshly milked milk can be subjected to a series of specific treatments:
Sterilization is important because:
Pasteurization is important because:
Three types of pasteurization are normally used: low, high or very high, depending on the temperature and duration of the treatment.
Microfiltration is a mechanical treatment of milk where the milk passes through ceramic filter membranes, and which allows the milk's conservation in refrigerated regimen, for long periods, over 15 days after treatment.
In Piedmont beekeeping is an important sector characterized by the wide range of high quality honey. In addition to producing honey, beekeeping plays an important role in maintaining natural and agricultural equilibrium.
Piedmont has a diversified production of honey because it has very rich and variable flora. There are also widespread geographical areas particularly suited for this, situated in the valleys (Grana, Lanzo, Ossolano and Sangone) and territories like Biella and Roero in the Province of Cuneo.
Honey is a sweet substance produced by bees in a natural cycle where human intervention is minimized. Technically, when it comes to honey we have to distinguish between:
The transformation into honey is a small miracle of nature, performed by the bees, through their glandular secretions which contain enzymes that have the capacity of modifying sugars.
We eat honey because:
Liquid or Crystallized?
When we think of honey, we imagine a liquid and dense product. In reality, it is not always the case, or better yet, this physical state is such only during extraction. Later in fact, the honey crystallizes, that is, the excess sugars precipitate in the form of crystals. It should be noted that crystallization is not a negative process but represents the natural evolution of almost all types of honey.
Not just Honey
In all Colours
One of the fastest way to recognize honey is without a doubt, through its colour. As it is well known, in fact, there are honeys that have a transparent colour, for example maple, and those with dark colouration as in chestnut honey which is decidedly dark. In between, there are infinite shades of yellow-gold typical of the flower it comes from.
How to recognize good quality honey:
How to store honey:
The production of fruits and vegetables in Piedmont occupies a surface area of more than 50,000 hectares and corresponds to 5% of cultivated lands.
It is an important sector for the agri-food economy of Piedmont, characterised by the quality of the products offered, with some outstanding prized products like the Piedmont Hazelnut IGP, Cuneo Chestnut IGP and hundreds of other PAT products.
Eating fruits and vegetables is beneficial since they:
Fruits and vegetables in your pantry
Fruits and vegetables they can be conserved in the specific compartment of your fridge at a temperature of 4-5°C. They may also be kept at room temperature for a limited time. A lot depends on the type of product: the more delicate ones like cherries, peaches or salads are better kept in the fridge and others like potatoes or dried fruits, may stay outside the fridge.
Give an ear to the products of our land
When buying fruits and vegetables always read the label which allows you to see their origin and whether they are quality products.
In case of loose fruits and vegetable, the indications on the label should be cited on a very visible notice placed close to the goods for sale.
It's also best to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables: the bond with the territory, environmental impact, nutritional values and tastes. Nonetheless, also allow your senses to guide you:
Sweet or very sweet fruits?
When eating fruits, you should pay attention to the sugar content. If it is true that many fruits are rich in water, some have fruity pulp and are full of calories, like peaches or figs, that may affect our daily intake of calories.
Raw or cooked?
When possible, eat fruits and vegetables raw. In fact, cooking causes the products to lose some beneficial elements found in the raw products.
Or else choose light cooking methods that preserve the organoleptic qualities and nutrients of fruits and vegetables.
Piedmont is among the Italian regions with the biggest poultry production. There are in fact about 250 poultry farms and 150 egg-producing hen farms for a total of 25,000,000 units: a real army of hens ready to satisfy our demands for fresh eggs!
Only eat safe and guaranteed eggs produced in the poultry farms of our region since they are safe. A series of controls carried out by the health authorities, ensures the maximum safety of our eggs .
Eggs are rich in nutritive elements that are found in many foodstuffs, from fresh pasta to cakes.
What chicken eggs are composed of:
Each egg bears a code on its shell that indicates:
Eggs in our shopping trolley
When buying eggs, it would be advisable to choose packed products that ensure the consumption of controlled foodstuffs.
Take note of the expiry date and take into account that the eggs may be conserved in the fridge for a maximum of 28 days from the date it was laid.
To understand whether an egg is really fresh the yolk should be:
To see if an egg is really fresh, the egg white should
Meat may be white (veal, pork, lamb, goatlings, chicken, turkey and rabbit), red (adult bovine, adult sheep and goats, horse meat, etc.) or black (game).
This difference in colour does not depend on the quantity of blood but on a protein called myoglobin, the concentration of which is correlated to the age, besides the feeds: the younger the animal, the less quantity of myoglobin is present.
Meats on sale are equipped with a retraceability system which will allows you to retrace the product's path from the factory of origin of the animals up to the retail sale of the product.
This is an important sector for our Region since it covers 10% of the national volume. Besides direct consumption, pork meat is used for the derivates which are products of utmost quality such as the Raw Ham of Cuneo and the Hunters' Salami (both bearing the Protected Geographic Origin Label), besides many other Traditional Agrifood Products (PAT).
Piedmont classifies third in the national rabbit meat production with points of excellence consisting in the Grey Rabbit of Carmagnola.
Sheep and goat meat
This is a consolidated tradition bound to many territorial realities, both regarding meat production as well as the dairy-cheese sector. There are varied prized breeds, like the Sambucana, Biellese, and the Italian Alpine goats of Vigezzo Valley.
How to conserve meat
Meat should be conserved in the fridge for the time necessary for rapid consumption, so as to preserve as much as possible, the nutritional and organoleptic characteristics.
Meat to be eaten raw must be consumed the same day on which it was bought. Slightly longer time frames may be allowed for slices and particularly for roasts or boiled meats. Using vacuum-tight bags may conserve it for a few days.
If you decide to freeze the meat, it would be advisable to cut it into portions for single usages. The ideal cooking method would be direct from the freezer to the pan. As an alternative you may defrost the product in the fridge.
A land of rivers and lakes, Piedmont has an impressive fish production that amounts to about 2,500 tons per year.
Trout, tench, eels, carps are among the most appreciated at the tables of ourregion, thanks to a diffused network of aquiculture plants with prized products like the Golden Humped Tench of Pianalto di Poirino DOP in the Province of Turin.
Our region prides itself in the Denomination of Protected Origin label products like the prized Golden Humped Tench of Pianalto di Poirino DOP in the Turin province.
Also noteworthy are 3 PAT (Piedmont Agrifood Products) such as the smoked Salmon Trout and soused fish, a typical preparation based on vinegar, wine and other aromatic herbs (used also for meats and eggs).
Fish in barrels
The south of Piedmont keep an old tradition connected to the salt conservation of fish. This deals in a particular way, with the anchovies in the Maira Valley, in the Province of Cuneo.
It seems that they used to import salt from Liguria and to avoid thecostly taxes, the salt barrels were filled with ¾ salt and ¼ anchovies.
Eat a lot of fish because
... it is seasonal
It's not a cliché really, since fish can also be bought according to the seasons. This is an important aspect because with the increased consumption of fish, the catch decreases year after year with the risk that some species become extinct. One of the solutions is, therefore, not to buy the same renowned fish all the time (trout, bass, gilthead, grouper, etc.)
Vary your shopping on the basis of what the season can offer.
Scent of fish
Fresh fish from sea water has an unmistakable perfume of brine, and reminds us of the sea. In case it is not part of the day's catch, one can note hints of ammoniac, and rancidity especially in those fishes that are generally more fatty like sardines or mackerel.
Piedmont has a viticulture production of utmost quality, besides that of quantity.We may in fact choose between 42 DOC and 16 DOCG wines. These arered, white and rosè wines, sparkling champagnes,
And dry or sweet, passito wines, that are the expression of this territory because they are profoundly bound
to this land, its climate and the work of vine growers.
You can buy Piedmont wines at:
Every company is part of the common farming register where the cultivated vineyards are cited, whether they are the property of the farmer or those cultivated by a wine producer who cultivates the leased vineyard.
Furthermore, besides the vineyards, also the wines that are qualified for productionare registered, that is, the
DOCG and the DOC labels.
DOC and DOCG denominations
DOC and DOCG are denominations we find on the label and the wine tag. They certify the certain origin of the wines we drink, and also guarantee a series of minimum obligatory prerequisites.
Every bottle of DOC or DOCG wine produced and sold in Piedmont has to bear a strip on its neck.
It is not to be confused with the label that guarantees to the consumer the traceability of the wine starting from the vineyard of origin.
The strips are printed by the State Polygraph, and bears a number through which one can retrace the origin of the product, thus ensuring retraceability, that is, to trace back to the vineyard that produced the wine.
As for other products, also the labels for wine provide a series of information that allows us to identify the production chain of the wines we drink.
The optional information found on the label may be placed at the producer's discretion but this depends on the single production regulations which are the set of norms and indications the producer is obliged to comply with to obtain a DOC or DOCG wine.
Raise your goblet....Cheers!
Over the last years there has been more awareness in the consumption of wine. When one buys one wine rather than another, it is therefore the fruit of an informed option on the part of the consumer that takes the organoleptic characteristics into account, the type of food pairing, the producer, etc..
Choosing wines on the basis of:
To avoid negative surprises, wine has to be conserved with care, in a cellar with a constant temperature between 15 and 18°C, without direct sources of light. Serving temperature depends on the type of wine.
Often wine may also be bought directly from the barrel.
In this case it would be advisable to buy it from trustworthy retailers, wineries or cooperative cellars, with proven reputation for excellence.