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LA STAMPA

Is There Such A Thing As 'Pure' Chocolate? Italy Bitter Over European Ruling

Italy is in hot water with EU authorities over its insistence that chocolate be classified as “pure” or “less pure” depending on its vegetable fat content. According to the European Commission, chocolate is chocolate – and should be labeled as such.

Italian
Italian


*NEWSBITES

In Italy, some are calling it "Eurocioccolato-gate." The European Court of Justice has ruled against Italy for not banning the denomination "pure chocolate" from its cocoa-based products.

The European Commission had ruled eight years ago that there is no difference between so-called "pure chocolate," which uses only cocoa butter, and "less pure" forms of chocolate that mix in a bit of vegetable fat. Provided the vegetable fat content is 5% or less, "less pure" chocolate – as the Italians call it –is just as worthy of being called chocolate as "pure" chocolate, the Commission decided.

Both varieties, therefore, should just be called "chocolate" – no qualifying adjective needed.

Italy, however, refused to heed the European Commission's directive. Stubbornly, it continued labeling its chocolate as "pure" and "less pure." Under pressure from the European Union, Italian authorities promises last June that within a month they would finally do away with the law that mandates the country's nit-picky chocolate distinctions. But that never happen. Determined not to give in on the escalating chocolate war, authorities in Brussels filed suit against Italy in the European Court of Justice. The Court found Italy in violation of the European Commission's original 2003 chocolate law. Until Italy stops distinguishing between the two types of chocolate, it will now have to pay a daily fine.

For Italian chocolate producers, the ruling is an outrage. COLDIRETTI, and Italian farmers association, called it a threat to the country's "Made in Italy" brand to be so loose with the labels. The association has already fought similar battles over "milk-less cheese" and "grape-less wine."

Read the original article in Italian

Photo – Chocolate Reviews

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Green

Fading Flavor: Production Of Saffron Declines Sharply

Saffron is well-known for its flavor and its expense. But in Kashmir, one of the flew places it grows, cultivation has fallen dramatically thanks for climate change, industry, and farming methods.

Photo of women harvesting saffron in Kashmir

Harvesting of Saffron in Kashmir

Mubashir Naik

In northern India along the bustling Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Pampore — known as the saffron town of Kashmir —people are busy picking up saffron flowers to fill their wicker baskets.

During the autumn season, this is a common sight in the Valley as saffron harvesting is celebrated like a festival in Kashmir. The crop is harvested once a year from October 21 to mid-November.

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