ART. 1 Denomination
The Protected Geographical Indication "Cioccolato di Modica" is reserved exclusively for the product that meets the conditions and requirements established by this specification.
ART. 2 Product features
The denomination "Cioccolato di Modica" designates exclusively the product obtained from the processing of bitter cocoa paste with sugar. When released for consumption, the "Chocolate of Modica" has the following characteristics:
2.1 Physical characteristics Shape: rectangular parallelepiped with tapered sides in the form of a truncated pyramid. Weight: not exceeding 100 gr. Paste: brown in color with evident granularity due to the presence of sugar crystals inside the product. Possible surfacing of cocoa butter on the external surface is visible.
2.2 Organoleptic characteristics Taste: sweet with a bitter note. Perception of graininess or grittiness. Good fusibility in the mouth and crunchy structure.
2.3 Chemical characteristics Minimum dry matter content of cocoa: not less than 50%; Minimum cocoa butter content: not less than 25%. Humidity: not more than 2.5%. The "Chocolate of Modica" can be completed by the addition of one or more optional ingredients indicated in the following art. 5.1
ART. 3 Production area
The production area of "Modica chocolate" is represented by the entire administrative territory of the municipality of Modica, in the province of Ragusa.
ART. 4 Proof of origin
It is necessary to monitor each phase of the production process, documenting the inputs and outputs for each one. The traceability of the product is guaranteed by registering the producers in special lists, managed by the control structure, as well as by promptly reporting the quantities produced to the control structure. All natural or legal persons registered in the relative lists will be subject to control by the control structure, according to the provisions of the production specification and the related control plan.
ART. 5 Method of obtaining
5.1 Ingredients The "Chocolate of Modica" requires the use of the following ingredients as a percentage of the total weight of the product. Mandatory: · Bitter cocoa paste: from 50 to 99%; · Sugar, including refined or whole cane sugar: from 50 to 1% Optional: · Spices: minimum 0.02% cinnamon, minimum 0.02% vanilla, minimum 0.02% chilli pepper, minimum 0.01% nutmeg; Natural flavors: minimum 0.02% citrus, minimum 0.02% fennel, minimum 0.01% jasmine, minimum 0.02% ginger; Fruit, also dried or dehydrated: minimum 2% citrus fruit, minimum 5% pistachio, minimum 5% hazelnuts, minimum 5% almonds; Salt: minimum 0.02%. In addition to those indicated above, the use of other spices (minimum 0.02%), natural flavors (minimum 0.02%) and dried or dehydrated fruit (minimum 2%) is permitted at the discretion of the producer. Prohibited: · colourings, preservatives, emulsifiers, vegetable fats, vanillin, milk.
5.2 Method of production
- The bitter cocoa paste (cocoa mass) must be melted exclusively in a bain-marie or by means of the use of chocolate tempering melters maintaining a temperature, at the heart of the mass, of a maximum of 50° centigrade.
- After melting, sugar and possibly powdered spices and/or natural flavors and/or fruit and/or salt are added to the paste, without ceasing the mixing operation in order to obtain an adequate amalgam and a homogeneous consistency of the mass.
- Before shaping it is allowed to subject the product thus obtained to tempering.
- We then proceed to the subsequent portioning and placing of the mixture into special molds which, immediately afterwards, are subjected to beating (vibration) for a period of time between one and three minutes. This operation consists in subjecting the molds to rapid and rhythmic manual or mechanical shaking so as to obtain a uniform height of the mixture inside each of them as well as the rising to the surface of any air bubbles which would compromise its compactness.
- Finally, after the cooling of the chocolate, which can take place at room temperature or in cold rooms at a temperature between 5° and 15° degrees and humidity between 40% and 55%, we proceed with the demoulding, i.e. the extraction of the product from the molds and packaging. This last operation must be carried out within a maximum of twelve hours after cooling.
ART. 6 Link with the geographical area
The "Chocolate of Modica" has acquired over time a great reputation both for its distinctive qualities and for the peculiarities of the production process. The "Chocolate of Modica" originates in the city of the same name. It is attested that since the 18th century the "Chocolate of Modica" was made by the noble families of the city. There are numerous documents that testify to an intense productive activity such as, for example, the archival papers of the noble Grimaldi family, who settled in Modica in the 16th century, which document the sweet simplicity of the capital of the ancient County, where "cicolateri" ( sic), as early as 1746, they manipulated cooked aromatic cocoa. In the 19th century, the monasteries and religious institutes of the area also contributed to giving great impetus to the notoriety, processing and diffusion of "Chocolate of Modica", where the product was not only consumed but, often, also worked. Towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, a new fundamental stage was marked in the history of "Modica chocolate": in this period the cafés of Modica were transformed into veritable chocolate production laboratories. The "Chocolate of Modica" has organoleptic characteristics, which are the result of a processing method that does not pass through the addition of cocoa butter or other vegetable fats or through the conching phase, i.e. the very long mixing and heating of the mass at high temperatures put in place in order to make the compound fluid and the lumps of dimensions imperceptible with the tongue. In the processing of "Chocolate of Modica" the absence of the conching phase combined with careful control of the processing temperature of the ingredients avoids the dissolution of the sugar crystals and gives the product the characteristic granularity perceptible on the palate. This feature makes the "Chocolate of Modica" distinguishable from all the other chocolates on the market. There are numerous publications and articles in national and foreign magazines which exalt the particularity of the "Modica Chocolate". The article published in the magazine Panorama (page 258, dated 31 October 1996) thus describes the “Chocolate of Modica” “By breaking the bar you can clearly distinguish the sugar crystals. In fact, the chocolate does not pass into a liquid state as in traditional processing…”; in the volume "The municipal denominations: opportunities for territorial development" there is an article published in an on-line newspaper in which the preparation of the "Chocolate of Modica" is thus described "the uniqueness of the process consists in the fact that the cocoa is processed raw and never reaches the liquid state; that's why it doesn't allow the sugar crystals to dissolve. The flavor of this chocolate is considered unique and absolute because both the flavor of the chocolate and the sugar emerge” (“The municipal denominations: opportunities for territorial development - Ed. Giuffrè - Milan, 2005, pp.241-253); the article published in “The Times” magazine (page 20, dated November 5, 2011) “Modican choccolate is dark not milky and has a crumbling texture rather than a melting one… and is made from a centuries-old recipe”; in the article "Modica, baroque and grainy" (published in the magazine "Italo - I Viaggi del Gusto" - 5 page 107 of December 2014) we read "They are the sugar crystals that do not melt and remain crunchy, one of the characteristics most loved of the typical product of the Sicilian town, its chocolate”; in the article "The historical museum of chocolate is born in Modica" published in the magazine EMOTIONS (page 93, of 12 July 2014) the "Chocolate of Modica" is mentioned as "unique for the cold processing which gives it a granularity and a friability that has conquered gourmands from all over the world”. A very recent testimony of the renown of the characteristic of the "Chocolate of Modica" is provided in the book "DIE INSEL DER DOLCI" by Hanns-Josef Ortheil, German writer, screenwriter and Germanist traveling in Modica: "the amazement is great when I taste the Chocolate of Modica because suddenly the sugar crystals are tasted on the tongue: like a whirlpool of seeds they slide on the tongue from one side to the other...". The peculiarity of the production method of "Modica Chocolate", the characteristic sensory profile and its grainy structure have also been the subject of scientific studies. In this regard, the following are mentioned: the study “Microstructural Characterization of Multiphase Chocolate Using X-Ray Microtomography published in the journal “Journal of Food Science” (Volume 75, nr.7, 2010 – E469-E476); the study "Sensory profile of a specialty sicilian chocolate" published in the journal "Italian Journal of Food Science" (Volume XXIII, number 1-2011). The production of "Chocolate of Modica" requires a good dose of manual skills and specific skills, which involve the use of skilled and expert workers in the dosing operations of the ingredients, in the control of the temperatures of the pasta manufacturing process, in the relative amalgam of the ingredients and in the beating operations. The importance of "Chocolate of Modica" in the geographical area is associated not only with the presence of a local induced linked to its production, but also with the adaptation of machine tools for processing, clear evidence of the strong and persistent interpenetration between the product and the local economy. The production of "Modica chocolate" has always represented an important job opportunity for the local population and still today it constitutes a significant economic activity and one of the most important sources of employment in the Sicilian municipality. In the last thirty years, the flowering of a series of small companies has led to the birth of a real "Modica Chocolate District", which is characterized by the particular vitality of the operators, some of which have started a significant export activity of the product. This connotation of the production system has allowed over the years the development and maintenance of knowledge and skills that have been handed down from generation to generation and which are not found in other areas.
The cultural bond of the product to the territory is also highlighted by the traditional presence of the "Chocolate of Modica" among the typical sweets of the winter period and in particular of the Christmas holidays. Over time, its consumption has also extended to the other months of the year. To cement this link, the traditional "Chocomodica" event is held every year in the municipality of Modica, which helps to perpetuate the fame of the product. Furthermore, the presence in the specialized local lexicon of slang terms that date back to the ancient production tradition persists, such as for example “Priparari 'na cotta ri ciucculatti” to indicate the preparation of a certain quantity of chocolate, “A pasta travagghiata, passata, stricata” to indicate the bitter cocoa paste processed, blended and refined, “'nto district ma matri was a ciucculattara ed io u figghiu ro ciucculattaru” – literal translation: in the neighborhood my mother was a chocolatier and my son was a chocolatier - to indicate the fundamental transfer of specialized skills from generation to generation, “Puttari 'a pasta amara a timpiratura” to indicate the traditional technique of melting chocolate consisting in subjecting bitter cocoa paste to low temperature heating. Further evidence of the product's cultural link with the territory is attested by the use of "Modica Chocolate" as the main ingredient in local gastronomy such as: chocolate ravioli in first courses, lamb and rabbit in typical meat main courses local, the "caponata" in the side dishes and, finally, the impanatigghie in the desserts.
ART. 7 Checks
The check on the compliance of the product with the Specifications is carried out, in accordance with the provisions of EU Reg. 1151/2012, by CSQA Certificazioni Srl, Via San Gaetano n. 74 - 36016 Thiene (VI) - csqa@csqa - +39 0445 313011.
ART. 8 Packaging and labeling
To safeguard the quality of the product, the packaging operations must take place within a maximum of twelve hours from cooling, inside the production laboratory or the premises annexed to it. This avoids possible bacterial contamination, the absorption of extraneous odors which would compromise the organoleptic profile of the product and ensures that the chocolate does not absorb humidity from the external environment, which would cause the risk of mold forming during storage, loss of characteristic brown color of the external surface of the product. The "Chocolate of Modica" is marketed in single-product or multi-product packs. In both cases, each chocolate must be wrapped in its wrapping and the package must bear the words "Chocolate of Modica" and the symbol of the PGI of the European Union. The words "Protected Geographical Indication" or the acronym IGP are optional. The following information is also mandatory: - the name, company name, address of the manufacturing and packing company; - the logo of the product referred to in the following art. 9, relating to the image to be used in inseparable combination with the Protected Geographical Indication. It is also permitted to indicate on the label the country of origin of the cocoa from which the bitter cocoa paste (cocoa mass) used is made. The addition of any qualification not expressly provided for is prohibited.
ART. 9 Logos
The product logo represents, in a stylized way, the "Valata ra ciucculata" and the "pistuni", i.e. respectively the crescent-shaped pastry board and the cylindrical stone rolling pin traditionally used in the hand-working of the cocoa mass. These two white elements, circumscribed by a thickened circle, stand out against a circle with a knurled edge in brown PANTONE 490 C (29C 95M 75Y 69K). Under the rolling pin there is a PANTONE 490 C (29C 95M 75Y 69K) brown cocoa mass. The circle has a diameter of 25 mm. Between the thickened inner circle and the knurled outer one, the inscription “Cioccolato di Modica” is clearly visible, facing upwards, in white TIMES NEW ROMAN 9 PT typeface C0 M0 Y0 K0 ; facing down, the wording “IGP” in white TIMES NEW ROMAN 9PT typeface C0 M0 Y0 K0. The type logo can also be used in black and white as in the reproduction shown below. The logo will be used inseparably with the PGI symbol of the European Union and can be adapted proportionally to the various uses. The maximum reduction limit is 1.0 cm.
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