Cumberland sausage wins protection

By Lewis Smith
Friday 18 March 2011 01:00

Cumberland sausage-makers are enjoying the champagne moment of their product being protected from geographically inaccurate imitations.

However good other sausages may taste, if they're not from Cumbria they can no longer be described as Cumberland sausages, Food minister Jim Paice has ruled, despite the German origin of the product.

The decision puts the sausages on a par with champagne, sherry, and Parma ham as edible products that must come from specific geographical areas after winning protection under European law.

Foods from the UK which have already been granted Protected Geographical Indication status include Stilton cheese, Cornish clotted cream and Melton Mowbray pork pies.

But Yorkshire puddings, Eccles cakes and Cornish pasties have been denied such status because their names are far too generic to be considered the product of one place.

Despite most people regarding the Cumberland sausage as distinctly British, it is thought to have been created by German miners who worked in the region in the 16th century and wanted to eat something that reminded them of the sausages they got at home.

Mr Paice said that protecting the geographic origin of the distinctive long, coiled sausage will guarantee its authenticity and heritage.

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