What Does DOP Stand For?

DOP Italian Travel. Why the acronym? Though travelling to Italy is dope, or top, as the Italians say, I didn’t choose DOP just for these sonic echoes. To me, DOP is Designing Original Paths through Italy for thoughtful travellers, and was inspired by what DOP means in Italy: Denominazione d’Origine Protetta, or Protected Designation of Origin. In Italy, DOP is the official trademark of quality the Italian government gives to certain artisanal food products that are made in a certain way, in a certain place, with certain ingredients, at a certain quality. In short, it’s a guarantee of incredible gastronomic products produced by traditional methods. This hyper-regionality and concern with quality is something I love about Italians. And it is the spirit I bring to DOP Italian Travel: quality, authenticity, regionality, and deliciousness.

To get you salivating, here’s one DOP product from each of Italy’s 20 regions. Wherever your next trip to Italy leads you, be sure to sample these local delicacies. Going to…

  • Abruzzo? Try Zafferano dell’Aquila DOP, saffron from Aquila.
  • Valle d’Aosta? Try Fontina Val D’Aosta DOP, a raw cow’s milk cheese.
  • Basilicata? Try Fagioli Bianchi di Rotonda DOP, white beans high in protein.
  • Calabria? Try Soppressata di Calabria DOP, a spicy cured pork.
  • Campania? Try Pomodoro San Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino DOP, tomatoes grown in the rich volcanic soil under Mount Vesuvius.
  • Emilia-Romagna? Try Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP, a balsamic vinegar made from grapes grown near Modena.
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia? Try Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP, cured pork leg made in the small village of San Daniele.
  • Lazio? Try Ricotta Romana DOP, a creamy and sweet sheep’s milk ricotta.
  • Liguria? Try Basilico Genovese DOP, a specific basil grown on the Tyrrhenian coast.
  • Lombardia? Try Gorgonzola Dolce DOP, a soft and mild blue cheese.
  • Marche? Try Prosciutto di Carpegna, a sweet and delicate cured pork leg.
  • Molise? Try Molise DOP, a fragrant extra virgin olive oil.
  • Piemonte? Try Riso di Baraggia Biellese e Vercellese DOP, the only rice varieties in Italy with this designation.
  • Puglia? Try Pane di Altamura DOP, bread made from durum wheat in the shape of a priest’s hat.
  • Sardegna? Try Pecorino Sardo DOP, a hard sheep cheese that can range from mild to sharp.
  • Sicilia? Try Pistacchio Verde di Bronte DOP, a pistachio grown at the foot of Mount Etna.
  • Toscana? Try Farina di Neccio della Garfagnana DOP, a chestnut flour used in cakes, breads, and polenta.
  • Trentino-Alto Adige? Try Mela Val di Non DOP, apple varieties grown in the north-west of Trentino.
  • Umbria? Try Farro di Monteleone di Spoleto DOP, a particular variety of spelt used in stews, soups, and porridge.
  • Veneto? Try Asparago Bianco di Bassano DOP, a bittersweet white asparagus.

Designing Original Paths Through Italy for Thoughtful Travellers

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