CONSORTIUM FOR THE QUALITY STANDARD PROTECTION OF THE BREAD OF ALTAMURA PDO “PANE DI ALTAMURA A DOP”
Origin of “Pane di Altamura” is linked to the area of production. A staple of the inhabitant’s diet in the uplands of the Murge region. The dough was mainly mixed and kneaded within the home before being prepared for the oven and baked in public ovens. The baker marked the initials of the head of the family on the loaves with a wooden or iron stamp before putting them in the oven. The main characteristic of the bread was its long-lasting quality, a necessary criterion for food to sustain peasants and shepherds during the week or more often.
The Protecion Consortium of the pane di Altamura, that today gathers together more than twenty producers, was constituted in 1979 on the initiative of the current president Giuseppe Barile.
“Pane di Altamura” is a baker’s product obtained from flour of durum-wheat semolina made by milling durum-wheat grain of the “Apulo”, “Arcangelo”, “Duilio” and “Simeto” varieties produced in the area defined in the rules of production, which includes the Municipalities of Altamura, Gravina di Puglia, Poggiorsini, Spinazzola and Minervino Murge in the province of Bari. “Pane di Altamura” having the characteristic aroma and weighing not less 0,5 kg, is the only one in Europe which has gained the P.D.O. certificate into the class pertaining to the technology of marketable goods “Bakers and its products”. The traditional forms recognized in the rules of production are two: the first type, known as “u skuanète” (folded loaf), is a tall loaf formed by folding the dough from either side into the centre and is baked without the edges of the loaves coming into contact with each other; the second type is known locally as “u cappidde de prèvete” (priest’s hat), is lower and, on baking, the edges of the loaves do not touch each other.