When you buy champagne you know you are buying a wine produced exclusively in the Champagne region of France. This is known as the Appellation d’Origine and every product comes with a nifty little label to prove it, thus protecting its natural and cultural heritage. Champagne from any other region is simply not champagne, it is sparkling wine.
In Mexico, there are also many high-quality products that are unique to specific regions, but how would you know? Well, that nifty label exists here too as a D.O., or Designation of Origin in Mexico.
Vanilla from Papantla is another protected product and considered one of the richest varieties in the world for its flavor and aroma. Every year the Papantla Vanilla Festival is celebrated in the state of Veracruz where public tastings are offered alongside other cultural activities.
While you may not know them by name, anyone who has spent time in Mexico has surely seen the lacas from Olinalá. They are wooden objects – boxes, plates, furniture, screens – made from native linaloe trees and decorated with a pre-Hispancic lacquering technique whose denomination of origin is Guerrero.
Talavera is a style of pottery from Puebla that is probably one of the most representative crafts from Mexico. A variety of tiles, vases, plates, mugs, lamps that are known for their quality and distinctive features. You can find many similar ceramics, but they cannot be called talavera.
Mango lovers appreciate the long and plentiful season here in Mexico, more so when it comes to the award winning Ataulfo mango from Chiapas, which was named the best mango in the world at the International Mango Festival in 1997 and given Designation of Origin in 2003.
Our favorite morning companion also has a Designation of Origin. Coffee from Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Veracruz all have varieties that fit the bill, though you can find exquisite non-designation coffees as well.
Currently there are 18 products with a Denomination of Origin that span the geographic and cultural regions of Mexico and include alcoholic beverages, coffee, handicrafts, chili, fruit, flowers, and more. If you want to learn about them all, click here.