• Redazione

Pasta di Sicilia, launched the campaign to obtain the Igp recognition

A bundle of wheat that becomes one with the shape of Sicily. Here is the logo that will support the proposed recognition of the protected geographical indication (PGI) of Sicilian pasta.

To launch, from the columns of the newspaper La Sicilia, the idea of the certification of "Pasta di Sicilia" is Margherita Tomasello, president of the Sicilian Academy of Pasta. The entrepreneur, whose family has owned a historic pasta factory in Palermo, will present the production regulations to the regional councillors for Agriculture, Edy Bandiera; Territory and Environment, Toto Cordaro and Production Activities, Mimmo Turano.

"It is not admissible - Tomasello explains - that Sicilian pasta does not yet have the denomination of origin that is assigned to those agricultural or food products that are made in a specific territory, as for example happened with Pasta di Gragnano. Our production, unique for its climatic conditions and for the processing method inspired by ancient tradition, guarantees a superior quality result and has nothing to envy to labels that are more famous only thanks to a skillful marketing strategy".

No subterfuge, as is the case elsewhere. The essential element, wheat, must be Sicilian. For the PGI "Pasta di Sicilia", in fact, the specification drawn up by the Sicilian Academy of Pasta says that "it must be obtained from the mixture of Sicilian durum wheat semolina with local water. The formats for consumption are different, all typical, fruit of the imagination of pasta makers and tradition". In the document follow the explanations of the physical characteristics such as the external appearance, color and roughness; the chemical and organoleptic ones and the technical ones starting from the bronze drawing. Each phase must be monitored to ensure a high standard for the entire supply chain, starting from the producers to the packaging companies.

THE PRODUCTION PROCESS. The production process begins with the kneading of the Sicilian durum wheat semolina up to the gramolatura phase; then it passes to the drawing to reach the drying at a temperature between 40 and 80 degrees for a period between 6 and 60 hours. This is the most delicate moment of the processing because the pasta is ventilated several times with hot air finishing its cycle in the "cooler" that stabilizes the product at room temperature.

The last step is the packaging that must be done in the production area within 24 hours to avoid moisture loss that could compromise the smell and taste or even breakage and damage. "Sicilian pasta - Margherita Tomasello adds - is known throughout the world for the genuineness of the grains selected and matured in the sun, and the skill of the pasta makers makes it more recognizable to the touch and taste and particularly suitable for condiments and sauces. The drying process, once carried out on outdoor drying racks, is still carried out today with dedication and experience handed down from father to son. An effort is also recognized by the numbers: Sicily is the region with the most consumers of pasta per capita, almost 40% compared to the rest of the country, it would be a mistake not to strengthen this economic segment by enhancing its already great excellence with the PGI brand label".