Gioia del Colle PDO mozzarella is finally registered in the European register of Geographical Indications (GIs). (1) This completes the guarantee of authenticity of a cheese that expresses tradition and sustainability, both in breeding and in processing.
The disciplinary of Gioia del Colle PDO mozzarella is distinguished from others by the rigor on animal welfare, which significantly affects the quality of the milk and the sensory profile of the stretched curd cheese. (2)
Mozzarella DOP Gioia del Colle, animal welfare and milk quality
The pasture of Brown, Friesian, Red Spotted and Jersey cows and their crosses - in natural meadows of spontaneous herbs, or in monophytic or polyphite grasses composed of leguminous essences (clover, vetch, field bean and protein pea) and cereals (oats, barley, durum wheat, common wheat and ryegrass) - must take place for at least 150 days a year.
Power of livestock must be made up of 60% forage and 40% of cereals (corn, barley, wheat, oats), legumes (soybeans, broad beans, field beans, protein peas), their flours and flakes. To a lesser extent, also carob and co-products of cereal processing (eg soft wheat bran and bran, durum wheat farinaccio). (3)
Raw milk, natural acidification
The proper use of raw milk, within 48 hours of milking, guarantees the preservation in Gioia del Colle PDO mozzarella of that wealth of health-friendly microorganisms that nourish the microbiota and contribute to the health of the immune system.
Natural acidification - by means of serum grafting and patience, at 34-36 ° C, for no less than two hours - it is the only one to be admitted. With a strict ban on the use of curds outside the territory to which they belong, as well as resorting to 'chemical shortcuts' such as citric acid and lactic acid.
'The aroma which derives from processing is added to that deriving from milk: that of fermentation (secondary aroma) is characterized by fresh lactic notes, butter and acid whey, while that due to the raw material (primary aroma) is characterized by delicate vegetable scents and animals (…) linked to the autochthony of the microbiota '.
'Environmental influences and historical-cultural aspects must be added to the specificities determined by the breeding technique and cheesemaking techniques. Of particular importance are the landscape (Natura 2000), the geological characteristics of the area (the Altipiano della Murgia, with the presence of Cretaceous limestone, outcropping rocks and small clays) and the climate ' (production specification, article 6).
Gioia del Colle, the DOP mozzarella
The color del 'fior di latte' depends on the season. Porcelain white in the winter months, when the cows are fed hay, pale yellow in the grazing seasons thanks to the beta-carotene of fresh herbs. The scent expresses fresh lactic notes, with acidulous tips like yoghurt. The shape is spherical or braided, knot or knot, morsel.
The taste of artisanal PDO mozzarella is unmistakable, slightly acidic and fresh, as an effect of the metabolism of natural yeasts contained in the whey used in processing. Succulence, structure and aromatic persistence then mark the style of the dairy and the "terroir" pastures.
Buffalo buffalo from Campania vs Gioia del Colle, PDO mozzarella in comparison
The registration of Gioia del Colle PDO mozzarella has suffered delays due to obstacles set by the Consortium of buffalo mozzarella from Campania, such as we had written at the time.
The two mozzarella PDOs have in common the original and authentic production method, from raw milk, with natural coagulation and hand-forming of the dough. But the products are incomparable, already for the different characteristics of milk and territories. Buffalo or cow, to each his own.
Dario Dongo and Michele Polignieri
(1) EU Reg. 2020/2018 entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications [Mozzarella from Gioia del Colle (DOP)]
(2) Mozzarella di Gioia del Colle PDO, the disciplinary on https://www.politicheagricole.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeAttachment.php/L/IT/D/e%252F5%252F9%252FD.4d52b504ea18f5783667/P/BLOB%3AID%3D3340/E/pdf
(3) The portion of the food ration relating to cereals and legumes must come for at least 60% from the production area limited by the specification (articles 5 and 3)