This system prevents their sale under registered names across the EU, unless the products are made in their traditional home region and by established production methods laid down in the EU register.
One of the new protected meat products is ‘Zagorski puran,’ a turkey slaughtered at six to eight months of age from the Croatian Zagorje breed reared using free-range methods outdoors. These must be slaughtered between October 1 and April 30, according to the geographical indication document from the Commission: “The meat is exceptionally juicy because of the high proportion of fat in the muscles and its tender and chewy consistency... The meat of the cooked turkey breast is white, whereas the meat on the forequarters is brown in colour.”
France’s ‘Poulet de l’Ardèche’/‘Chapon de l’Ardèche’ (free-range chickens and capons) and ‘Pintade de l’Ardèche’ (guinea fowl bred outdoors) have been added to the EU’s geographical indications list. ‘Poulet de l’Ardèche’ must be slaughtered at the minimum age of 81 days, and at least 150 days for ‘Chapon de l’Ardèche,’ said a Commission note. The products have “firm, lean meat with an intense flavour and a dark colour”, it said.
Recognition for meat
Meanwhile, ‘Pintade de l’Ardèche’ comes from robust, slow-growing strains and must be slaughtered at the minimum age of 94 days. It offers a firm, lean meat with an intense taste and a dark colour. Livestock feed consists of 100% plants, minerals and vitamins, while the total amount of fatty matter is limited to 6%, said the application.
The Commission also added Spain’s ‘Gall del Penedès,’ the fresh meat of chickens of the Black Penedesenca variety of the traditional Penedesenca breed, according to the official EU note. These are slaughtered at a minimum age of 98 days.
“The chickens are “reared in chicken coops with outdoor access all year round, and the inclusion of grape seeds in their diet is a characteristic feature,” the note states. The meat comes from birds fed on a diet of 5% grape seeds and smells nutty, and less strongly of bark, with a flavour less sweet and more metallic than ordinary chicken as well as a more fibrous texture.
These additions showed “the great interest in and value of our system of geographical indications,” said European Commissioner of agriculture and rural development, Phil Hogan. “It is always encouraging to see high-quality European food getting the recognition that it deserves.”