Coiled British sausage wins protected EU status
A famously coiled British sausage has joined Parma ham and champagne in having its name protected across Europe after being granted special status, the government said Friday.
The Cumberland sausage, produced in the north-west county of Cumbria since the 16th century, has gained Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, meaning only sausages made to strict standards will be able to carry the coveted EU logo.
The regional delicacy will have to be produced, processed and prepared in Cumbria, contain at least 80 percent meat and be at least 20 millimetres thick to display the PGI mark.
The government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the move guarantees the heritage and authenticity of the product and will prove a major boost for the region's butchers.
"This should be a significant boost to Cumbrian producers, who will now be able to prove that their product is the real thing," Food minister Jim Paice said.
"It's also a boost to consumers who can have confidence in where their sausages come from."
DEFRA said the sausage may first have been introduced to the area along with an influx of German miners around 500 years ago.
Peter Gott, of the Cumberland Sausage Association, added: "This is a great milestone for the county and a well deserved place in England's food history for a truly sensational diverse food product."
The coarse-textured banger is the 44th British food and drink product to have its name protected throughout Europe, joining products such as Cornish clotted cream and Stilton cheese.
Recipes for Cumberland sausage vary but all are sold in a long coil and are highly seasoned, a legacy of the region's strong 18th-century trade links with the Americas and Africa.
© 2011 AFP