The ABCs of the A.O.C. and the D.O.P.
Whenever you read about the most famous and sophisticated French cheeses, you will usually find it certified by the label “AOC”. Right away, you know that this cheese must be pretty important to receive such recognition- even though you may not know exactly what the AOC is. First created in the 15th century, this French label stands for “Appellation d’Origine Côntrolée”, which means controlled label of origin. This guarantees that the milk is from a fixed geographical area, along with the cheese’s production and maturity. It also follows a traditional method of producing the cheese, as well as storing and ensuring an optimal degree of humidity in the storage room and cheese counter. Representatives from the label inspect the cheese and its production in order to ensure that it follows these guidelines.
The Italians have their own way of guaranteeing fromaggio lovers that their cheese is of the highest quality. A cheese awarded the DOP is most special DOP stands for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta”, which means Protected Designation of Origin. Similar to the AOC, the DOP guarantees that the milk of the cheese and production are on a certain location in Italy. Also, the methods of production must be traditional, and have fixed storage guidelines to ensure that the cheese age correctly. It is mark of optimal quality and high standards.