The Tigernut from Valencia (Spain), Chufa de Valencia, is one of the products listed by the European Commission on the DOOR database and protected by the Geographical Indication regime of Designation of Origin (PDO),
The conditions required to obtain the GI recognition are established by the Regulatory Council of the Denomination of Origin Tigernut of Valencia in order toguarantee the quality level of the product and to keep the reputation of the brand name.
The tigernut is a tuber that comes from a kind of sedge called Cyperus esculentus, it has a rhizome radicular system from which some little roots are found, in whose tips the tigernut is formed. The tuber is cultivated in subtropical climate regions, being the Mediterranean Coast an ideal area for its sowing.Tigernut cultivation was introduced in Valencia during the Muslim period in the seventh century but it was not until the thirteenth century when its cultivation was widespread in the area. At present the tigernut has many different uses, as fishing bait, as oil, as food, in pharmacies, but the most popular is to make horchata, which is a traditional fresh drink prepared with water, sugar andtigernuts, very well known in the Mediterranean Coast.
2. Conditions of the Geographical Indication:
The requirements to get the Geographical Indication are developed in the law 17/2010, 18th of May, elaborated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Feeding. This rule describes the production process, the characteristics of the product, and the structure of the Regulatory Council:
The production of the Valencian Tigernut is restricted to the areas selected by the Regulatory Council in sixteen towns of the region: : Albalat dels Sorells, Alboraya, Albuixech, Alfara del Patriarca, Almàssera, Bonrepòs i Mirambell, Burjassot, Foios, Godella, Meliana, Moncada, Paterna, Rocafort, Tavernes Blanques, València and Vinalesa. Approximately 5.3 million kilograms are producedin this area, and the 90% of them obtain the Geographical Indication.
Firstly the land must be prepared before the plantation and then the tigernut is sown between the months of March and May depending on the date of the previous crop, respecting the density and the measure of the ridges in order to improve the quality and the crop yield. Furthermore the production process includes thecultivation, compilation, washing, drying and selection stage, which are carried out by traditional methods.
2.2: Characteristics of the product:
The tigernut has to be clean, healthy, whole, unaltered and with its typical appearance. The weight of the product must be between 0.45g and 0.8g, the size: 0.9-1.6cm x 0.7-1.1 cm, and the composition: sugar 11-17%, fat 23-31%, proteins 6.5-12%, starch25-40%, All the inadmissible defects of the product are regulated in a quality manual by the Regulatory Council.
These characteristics could not be achieved if the soil quality and the weather conditions of the zone were different. The annual average temperature is 17ºC, the relative humidity is very high and frosts are infrequent. The soil needs to be sandy and rich of minerals
2.3: Variety ofproduct:
The tubercles can take many forms, including elongated and predominating the round, traditionally know as Llargueta and Ametilla, respectively. They are divided in two types: tender and dry, depending on the appearance of the drying stage in the production process
2.4: Regulatory Council:
The Regulatory Council of the Tigernut from Valencia is responsible for the fulfilment of thespecifications described above. A Geographical Indication is a guarantee of quality and the Regulatory Council of the Valencian Tigernut looks it over. According to the Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 of 20 March 2006, one of the product specifications is to include the name and address of the authorities or bodies verifying compliance with the provisions of the specification and their...