As we know, Mexico is mainly known for its cultural wealth, food, beverages and handicrafts; therefore, the existence of appellations of origin in our country is of utmost importance.
The Mexican Industrial Property Law, mentions that an appellation of origin shall be understood to be the name of a geographical region of the country that is used to designate a product originating therein, of which its qualities or characteristics are due exclusively to the geographical environment, including both natural (such as the geography, climate or raw materials) and human factors (such as labor, art, ingenuity and tradition, -among others-).
Appellations of origin are not obtained or granted by decree or ex-officio by an Authority, on the contrary, they only exist by factual situations; that is, first these become famous and recognized by the public that consumes them due to the use and commercialization of these in our country and subsequently, they can be protected by the corresponding declaration.
Given the latter, the only Authority with legal faculties to grant de protection of an appellation of origin, is the Mexican Patent and Trademark Office and eventhough the declaration of an appellation of origin is requested by all the producers of the good sought to be declared as an appellation, it is the Mexican State the one that will keep the rights over such AO. In other words, no person or group of persons in particular, will be the holders of such appellation.
Having this in mind, it is important for all the actors and productive agents linked to the elaboration and exploitation a good that could be protected as an appellation of origin, to keep in mind that a Regulatory Council must be created (without exception), as this will be the responsible for regulating the use and trade of those goods over which an appellation of origin applies.
Eventhough Mexico has a protection for 17 appellations of origin, which will be listed below, the most famous one is for the alcoholic beverage “tequila”, which is not only well-known in our country, but all around the world and it is obtained from the agave tequilana weber variedad azul. Nowadays, the word “tequila” has protection either as a trademark, certification mark, collective mark, or appellation of origin in almost every corner in planet Earth.
In fact, the producers of such appellation of origin got together in order to create on 1993 what it is called the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), which is the responsible of regulating the use of this A.O. and grants permission to third parties to join the Council, in order to be able to make use of word “tequila” in the goods they commercialize, as long as these are consistent with the guidelines created by the Council itself and with the official Mexican Standards (NOMs). These days, hundred of companies are part of such Council and exploit the “tequila” appellation of origin.
Besides “tequila”, Mexico has other appellations of origin, which include ingredients that are used in the traditional Mexican cuisine, traditional beverages that are unique due to their taste and handicrafts made by Mexican artisans:
- ARROZ DEL ESTADO DE MORELOS (RICE FROM THE STATE OF MORELOS): This appellation of origin is very specific, as not all the rice from Morelos can be considered as included within the first.
- CACAO DE GRIJALVA (CACAO FROM GRIJALVA):This is the grain from which chocolate and other foods can be obtained. The region of Grijalva is in the state of Tabasco, at the southeast of Mexico.
- CAFÉ DE CHIAPAS (COFFEE FROM CHIAPAS):They say that this coffee has a marked acidity, chocolate aromas, caramel, vanilla and maple notes, what makes it very special and unique.
- CHILE HABANERO DE LA PENÍNSULA DE YUCATÁN (HABANERO CHILI FROM THE YUCATAN PENINSULA):With the existence of this appellation, we cannot say that the “habanero chili” can only be grown in the Yucatan Peninsula, but the way in which the same is planted in this region is what makes the difference that in no other place the flavors can match the one grown in this region of Mexico. It is known to be as one of the hottest chilis in Mexico.
- CAFÉ DE VERACRUZ (COFFEE FROM VERACRUZ):Similar to what happens in other regions of the country, or with the A.O. for “Café de Chiapas”, the region where this coffee is grown, provides its particular and unique notes to the taste. It is important to mention that not all coffee grains planted in Veracruz can use this A.O., as only those planted at 750 meters of altitude over the sea level.
- MANGO ATAULFO DEL SOCONUSCO CHIAPAS (ATAULFO MANGO FROM THE SOCONUSCO OF CHIAPAS):More than 176 thousand tons of this kind of mango is sold in our country in season.
- VAINILLA DE PAPANTLA (VANILLA FROM PAPANTLA):This is the one and only original vanilla, used in every kind of cuisine around the world, from salty food to cakes and cookies.
- CHILE DE YAHUALICA (YAHUALICA CHILI):This kind of chili is from the same family as the tree chili, but the once planted and produced in the region of Yahualica has a particular spiciness.
- BACANORA DE SONORA (BACANORA FROM SONORA):Bacanora is a type of beverage that comes from the same family as the mezcal, the particularity of this one, is that the same can only be planted in the State of Sonora with the agave plant called Pacifica or Yaquiana.
- CHARANDA DE MICHOACÁN (MICHOACAN CHARANDA):This is also a beverage which can be find only in some counties of Michoacán and not all over the state. This beverage is elaborated with 50% of cane juice and 50% with molasses.
- MEZCAL (MEZCAL):The fame of this beverage has been increasing in the past few years, where you can find mezcal in almost every corner around the world. Many say that mezcal is the parent of the tequila, as both are made from the agave plant; nowadays, more than five states around Mexico have the authorization to plant and produce this beverage under such appellation of origin.
- SOTOL (SOTOL):This distilled beverage comes from the Chihuahua desert, in the north of Mexico. It has a special flavor based in hazelnut, butter and yeast notes.
- RAICILLA (RAICILLA):This is the most recent appellation of origin granted by the Mexican Government, which is also a beverage similar to the mezcal; though, this beverage is obtained from the distillation of fermented juices extracted from several types of matured agaves.
- OLINALA DE GUERRERO (GUERRERO OLINALA):Olinala is a type of handicraft mainly used to create household ornaments, such as tables, jewelry boxes, among other, but this does not limit the use of the same. We can find old and typical houses in the state of Guerrero, that have bedrooms decorated with the Olinala.
- TALAVERA (TALAVERA):As the Olinala, Talavera is also a type of handicraft which originated in the states of Puebla and Tlaxcala.
- AMBAR DE CHIAPAS (CHIAPAS AMBER):This is a semi-precious stone, that comes from the fossilized resin of the guapinol tree in the State of Chiapas.
As we can see, the fame that Mexico is a country full of surprises and wealth is not in vain, on the contrary, the amount of original goods grown and created in our country that cannot be copied or imitated, is huge. Hope you can come to our country and delight with in any of these delicious and beautiful goods.