THE PRESTIGIOUS PGI MARK:
For its incomparable organoleptic characteristics, Gragnano pasta obtained the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) mark in 2010, the first European Community quality endorsement assigned in Italy. This achievement – a tribute to the art of countless master pasta makers who've invested in quality over the centuries – was also down to the unfailing determination of Giuseppe Di Martino, President of the "Consorzio Gragnano Città della Pasta".
Gragnano pasta was already renowned for its quality centuries ago, when many European aristocrats included the Neapolitan township in their Grand Tour of the continent. It won a medal at the Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1855 and was mentioned in a report to the House of Commons in London in 1900. Earlier still, it seems that King Ferdinando II exclaimed, on trying some Gragnano pasta: "Genuine food, genuine like the people of Gragnano!".
It is above all the ingredients in Gragnano pasta that are genuine. As published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (no. 198, 25 August 2010) regarding the Protected Geographical Indication, "Gragnano pasta" is the product obtained from the mixing of durum wheat flour with the extremely pure local groundwater, with a particular fragrance of ripe wheat and a distinctive taste. Gragnano pasta is characterized by its coarse appearance, typical of bronze die extrusion, and when cooked has a firm and elastic consistency, with excellent resilience.
800 tons of pasta are now produced everyday in Gragnano and of this at least 10% is exported (42 countries). Other Gragnano products, alongside the pasta that now has the prestigious PGI mark, include PDO oil and DOC wine.