"I am pleased that Calabrian agriculture, such an important element in our food mosaic, will gain recognition for a product with such a long tradition as the potato, Patata della Sila. The new IGP product is further proof that quality products represent an added value for Italian food. This is a guarantee of excellence for consumers. For the producers, it is the opportunity to protect their production traditions."
With these words Luca Zaia, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, announced the publication in the European Union Official Journal (C 33/10 of 10 February 2010) of the application for IGP recognition of the potato, Patata della Sila. It will be necessary to wait six months, in accordance with EU regulations, before the potato, Patata della Sila, will be officially recorded in the European DOP and IGP register.
The production area is the Sila Plateau, where the terrain and climatic features allow tubers to grows teadily and slowly and to ripen in the best possible way.The municipalities where the potato is grown include Acri, Aprigliano, Bocchigliero, Celico, Colosimi, Longobucco, Parenti, Pedace, Rogliano, San Giovanni in Fiore, Serra Pedace, Spezzano della Sila, Spezzano Piccolo, in the Province of Cosenza and the municipalities of Albi, Carlopoli, Cicala, Confluenti, Decollatura, Magisano, Martirano, Martirano Lombardo, Motta S. Lucia, Serrastretta, Sorbo San Basile, Soveria Mannelli, Taverna in the Province of Catanzaro.
The Sila potato is characterized by its conservability and its excellent culinary qualities. It is particularly good for frying due to the high level of dry matter found after cooking in oil, allowing for greater persistence in the whitish-yellow colour of the potato's flesh. Furthermore, the distinctive taste of this potato is more pronounced, the skin thicker and more resistant to mechanical processing than other potatoes.
The cultivation of the 'Patata della Sila' has a long and documented history, beginning with the Statistics of the Kingdom of Naples in 1811. Its cultivation has been an important source of income for the plateau. In 1955, the Sila Center was established for the propagation and selection of potatoes from certified seed, in order to spread the use of certified seed. There is the famous 'Sila Potato Festival' celebrated in Camigliatello Silano. In addition, since 1980, Parenti has hosted a major event based on the Sila potato.