Chocolate is big business in Italy. Annual sales are worth 350 million euros, while consumption has doubled over the past 10 years - going from two to four kilos per person - and it continues to grow.
Traditional Italian chocolate-makers shun alternatives to cocoa butter, which northern European manufacturers tend to use up to the 5% limit allowed by EU regulations. They are worried about the threat of cheaper products eating into their market and are also pushing the EU to grant the best Italian chocolate “Traditional Specialty Guaranteed” (TSG) status. In 2003 purists successfully lobbied for the introduction of a new ‘puro cioccolato’ label here, so consumers can spot the difference between the two types. The EU, however, has objected that even the ‘puro cioccolato’ tag amounts to unfair discrimination against competitors. Most artisan chocolate-makers use cocoa with Fairtrade certification. This shows the cocoa was traded at a fair price for the Third World farmers and produced in an environmentally friendly way with full respect for workers’ rights.
For defending their pure chocolate, Italian will have a huge number of events in 2007, mostly in Umbria, the traditional chocolate region. If you would like to visit Umbria check on Dream Destination Europe www.dde-europe.com
Dream Destination Europe offers a selection of masterpieces: ancient cities, archaeological rarity, villages with warm hearted smiling locals welcome the visitor with open arms, historical university towns, medieval market squares and charming seaside towns. DDE delights your journey to Italy with beautiful countryside and romantic coastlines, with unforgettable dinners, visiting grand palaces, famous art collections and medieval cities. You do not have to miss this experience. Book with www.dde-europe.com
Text by Barbara Essl. Barbara is free photographer and journalist traveling within Europe. Main topics are travel, food and lifestyle. http://www.dde-europe.com You are welcome to publish this article, as long as the bylines are included and all links remain active.