PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) Gragnano pasta is a type of pasta that originates from the town of Gragnano in the Campania region of Italy. Gragnano has a long-standing tradition of pasta production, dating back to the 16th century. The town’s unique climate and geographical features, such as the nearby Lattari Mountains and the Gulf of Naples, contribute to the exceptional quality of Gragnano pasta.
The history of Gragnano pasta can be traced back to the time when the town became an important centre for pasta production in Italy. Gragnano’s favourable conditions, including abundant water sources, cool breezes, and a perfect balance of humidity and temperature, provided an ideal environment for drying pasta. The local pasta makers capitalized on these conditions and developed traditional techniques to produce high-quality pasta.
In 2013, Gragnano pasta was awarded the PGI status by the European Union, recognizing its unique qualities and traditional production methods. The PGI certification ensures that the pasta is made according to specific standards and originates from the designated geographical area.
The production of Gragnano pasta involves using only durum wheat semolina and water, with no artificial additives. The dough is mixed, extruded through bronze dies to give it a rough texture, and then dried slowly at low temperatures. This slow drying process allows the pasta to retain its texture and absorb sauces better when cooked. Regarding bronze extrusion, the Italian Antitrust Agency recently sanctioned that the term “trafilata al bronzo” on the pasta packages sold in Italy implies the use of a die effectively 100% bronze, whereas various alloys (copper, brass, etc.) can be used when pasta is sold abroad.
Gragnano pasta is highly regarded for its taste, texture, and ability to hold sauces. The rough surface of the pasta helps sauces cling to it, resulting in a more flavourful and satisfying dish. The quality and craftsmanship involved in its production have made Gragnano pasta a favourite among chefs and pasta enthusiasts around the world.
Gragnano pasta is certainly considered one of the finest and most authentic types of pasta available. Its PGI certification and adherence to traditional production methods contribute to its reputation for excellence.