Cumberland sausage wins protected status

Cumberland sausage
Image caption Cumberland sausage has a distinctive flavour and shape

Cumberland sausage has been successful in its bid to be made only in Cumbria.

It now ranks alongside the likes of Champagne, Parma ham and Greek feta cheese in having Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status under EU law.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the move would guarantee its heritage and be a major boost for Cumbria's butchers.

Other protected UK food and drink products include Cornish clotted cream and Stilton cheese.

To display the PGI mark, the sausage must be produced, processed and prepared in Cumbria and have a meat content of at least 80%.

Recipes vary from butcher to butcher, but must include seasoning and be sold in a long coil.

'Truly sensational'

Food minister Jim Paice said: "We're justly proud of British food and I'm delighted to welcome traditional Cumberland sausage as the first of our many fine sausages to win protected status.

"This should be a significant boost to Cumbrian producers, who will now be able to prove that their product is the real thing."

He added: "Today's achievement is a tribute to all the hard work led by John Anderson, the force behind the Cumberland Sausage Association, who sadly died last year."

Peter Gott, of the Cumberland Sausage Association, said: "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."

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