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The European Commission announced on Monday, 4th of July that it had approved the addition of rose preserve, a traditional spoon sweet made in Agros Village, on its list of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
The PGI list covers agricultural products and foodstuff closely linked to geographical areas. For a product to be eligible, at least one of the stages of production, processing, or preparation must take place in the area in question.
Agros is very popular for its traditional sweets and especially for the rose water and rose preserve. In accordance with the EC announcement, “Glyko Triantafyllo Agrou”, is a dessert consisting of a mixture of rose petals, sugar and water prepared in the region of Agros. “The roses should be of the variety Rosa Damascene and can be harvested only during early morning hours, when the flowers are not fully open yet and the petals are still moist. The petals are then boiled in a cauldron together with water, sugar and lemon juice, after which the mixture is cooled, packaged in a jar and heated in the oven”.
Interestingly that systematic rose cultivation in Agros, specifically the species Rosa Damascena, dates back to the 1910’s when a school teacher Nearchos Clerides had founded a pupils’ association for the dissemination of the rose bush with the aim of producing rose water.
Moreover, the first references to damask rose growing in Cyprus date back to the end of the 19th century and the only areas that had ever produced a sizeable crop were the communities of Milikouri and Agros. “In both areas rose growing gained momentum after 1940, but Agros produced more roses than Milikouri and it still does today, which leads to the certain conclusion that specific climatic conditions combined with human factors are the reason why damask roses continue to thrive in that specific area”, the EC noted.
Farmers’ association Panagrotikos also mentioned that three more Cypriot agricultural products are in the EC’s list of PGI: the Paphos sausage, the Yeroskipou ‘Loukoumi’ (delight) and ‘Koufeta Amygdalou’ (almond dragees).
Thus, Cyprus can be proud of its unique products included in the list of the PGI.
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