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Romanian Ibănești cheese gets EU recognition. Kurtos kalacs could be next

After Topoloveni plum jam and Sibiu Salami have been registered as products of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) announced that ‘Telemeaua Ibăneşti’ (Ibănești cheese) is the third product receiving this distinction. At the same time, this local dairy product has become the first Romanian product to get Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in the European Union.

The European recognition and protection of the Romanian product was published by the EU’s Official Journal of the European Commission’s implementing regulations on Monday, Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu said.

He stressed that Romania has high quality products from rural areas, but people there should be advised to request and use the funds available to them in this regard.

“We will produce also the ‘mountain product’ name. The legislation is established and we are going to promote it and I hope that those exceptional quality products made in an unpolluted environment to get on consumers’ table,” Irimescu said.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, 1,427 traditional products are guaranteed worldwide, of which 1,404 from the EU. Most of the PGI products are held by Italy (296), France (243), Spain (205), Portugal (139), Greece (106) and Germany (96).

A European system for the protection of the geographical names of certain foodstuffs (which have a tangible link to the geographical area after which they are named) was established by Council Regulation in 2012.

The scope of the schemes is strictly limited to agricultural products and foodstuffs where a link exists between the characteristics of a product or foodstuff and the defined geographical area. This can be the name of the region, a specific place or in exceptional circumstances, a country used to describe an agricultural product or foodstuff.

Fighting for the Szekler chimney cake

At the same time, Romania wants to obtain EU recognition for kurtos kalacs also, a product certified for the first time in Transylvania in 1784.

kurtoskalacs “The kurtos kalacs (Szekler chimney cake) is produced throughout the region, the Czech Republic, Hungary and even in Slovakia, and considering that the certification is in Transylvania, I have no doubt that this product will be recognized, of course, for Romania,” Agriculture Minister noted.

Meanwhile, Hungary announced since last year that is going to submit an application to the European Union in order to pronounce the chimney cake (in Hungarian: kürtöskalács) a “traditional specialities guaranteed” product, specifically, a Székely-Hungarian one.

Szekler chimney cake is made from sweet, yeast dough (raised dough), of which a strip is spun and then wrapped around a truncated cone–shaped baking spit, and rolled in granulated sugar. It is roasted over charcoal while basted with melted butter, until its surface cooks to a golden-brown color. During the baking process the sugar stuck on the kürtőskalács caramelises and forms a shiny, crispy crust. The surface of the cake can then be topped with additional ingredients such as ground walnut or powdered cinnamon.

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About Anca Bernovici