It’s official the Cornish pasty has been awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status by the EU. The status was applied for in later 2008 and was successful on 23rd July 2011. This means that no other product can use the term Cornish pasty unless it is made in Cornwall and using the method specified. Gone are the charlatans with their chunks of carrot or puff pastry cases.

At present the UK enjoys varying levels of protection for 38 food products. There are another 16 still going through the process:

Fal Oyster
Armagh Bramley Apples
Newmarket Sausage
New Season Comber Potatoes / Comber Earlies
Stornoway Black Pudding
Scottish Wild Salmon
Lough Neagh Eel
Native Shetland Wool
Isle of Man Queenies
Watercress
Traditional Pasture Reared Beef
Traditional Bramley Apple Pie Filling
West Country Lamb
West Country Beef
Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese
Traditional Grass fed Red Poll beef

Even more household names are not protected and certainly some local delicacies would be very suitable, consider the North Staffordshire oatcake or Bury blackpudding?

 

In June 2011, the Newmarket sausage started on it’s journey to recognition of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). This means that the sausage that bears the name can only come from an area specified in the application. Now as we all know, the European law makers are an exacting bunch.

Newmarket sausage comes in two varieties Powter’s or Musk’s. Both use the name, but so far Musk’s have received recognition in the form of several Royal Warrants. Each of the recipes have a secret spice blend and seem to vary most in their use of binder, Powter’s rusk and Musk’s bread.

To get the EU protected status, they have to come up with one, you would have thought. After some digging around we found the specification hosted on the DEFRA website (opens in a new window). It has been written in a way that apart from the dried lemon, the sausage could be one of many traditional Victorian style recipes. Both rusk and bread are mentioned as binders, so this leads to either sausagemaker being allowed to use the PGI designation. There is slight contradiction in the specfication which we hope would get interpreted as how they used to be made back rather than the current methods.

Good luck to the Newmarket sausage.

 

In May 2011, the good people of Stornoway applied to have a local dish registered for European protection of title. Their own blackpudding is 1 of 156 meat products on the EU list of denominations. At this time they could be waiting years before they reach their goal of obtaining Protected Geographical Indication status.

If they are successful in their quest they will share this honour with Melton Mowbray pork pies and traditional Cumberland sausage. So far in Europe, no one else has applied to protect the localness of their own black pudding whether it is a boudin noir or a morcilla. With any luck, Bury will follow suit.

Go Stornoway

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