Sotira Taro (kolokasi) /Sotira taro tubers have been awarded Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) status by the European Commission.
It is the third product awarded PDO and PDI status following Paphitico loukaniko (Paphos sausage) and Agros rose preserve.
The acquisition of PDO and PGI status for Cypriot agricultural products was one of the government’s aims with regards to agriculture said Agricultural Minister, Nicos Kouyialis, marking this as an important step in boosting small enterprises and creating jobs and a general improvement in the quality of life in rural areas
The climate and soil conditions, as well as the experience of taro producers in the in the Sotira area, were instrumental in acquiring PDO status. The product will be cultivated in the Famagusta district around the Sotira Municipality and the communities of Avgorou, Frenaros, and Liopetri.
The PDO and PDI status of the Sotira taro will result in additional help to producers and to promoters of the product. It is also a way to promote traditional Cypriot cuisine and in so doing, enriches the islands tourist product.
Kolokasi is a root vegetable that originates in southeast Asia and Malaysia. In Europe, it’s hard to come by and is only grown in substantial quantities in Cyprus and the Greek island of Ikaria. In its raw form, kolokasi is poisonous as it contains high levels of calcium oxalate, which however are safely reduced to non-harmful levels during the cooking process.
Kolokasi is a popular dish in the Cypriot cuisine and is cooked in tomato sauce either on its own or often with pork or chicken.
Cyprus biggest challenge is to have halloumi cheese awarded a PDO and PGI status, while applications have also been made for Pitsilia Chiromeri, Pitsilia Lountza, Pitsilia sausages and Agros rosewater.