By SEAN POULTER
The peppery Cumberland sausage with its traditional coiled shape has been enjoyed for more than 500 years.
Today, the EU is recognising its unique cultural heritage to make it the 44th British food and drink product to be granted protected status.
It joins foreign favourites like Parma ham and Feta cheese, together with the Cornish Pasty, clotted cream and Stilton, to be recognised in this way.
The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status means that the sausages must be produced to an agreed method to maintain the heritage and authenticity.
The Cumberland sausage is the first of Britain’s sausages to win PGI status.
Made from pork, traditionally they are very long, up to around two feet in length, however shorter versions have become commonplace.
The flavour is dominated by both white and black pepper, while the meat is normally chopped rather than minced, so giving it a distinctive chunky texture.
Sausages displaying the PGI mark will have been produced, processed and prepared in Cumbria and contain at least 80per cent meat and at least three-quarters of an inch thick.
The Cumberlands are rumoured to date back to the 16th Century and the influx of German miners to the area, but they were first documented in 1911.
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.’
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. It’s also a boost to consumers who can have confidence in where their sausages come from.’
Behalal Team: Just a word of caution, before you rush out to buy it, it’s not halal! It contains pork.