The EU protected food name scheme highlights regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. Under this system, a named food or drink registered at a European level has legal protection against counterfeit products. There are currently 88 protected food names in the UK, including food, wine, beers, ciders, spirit drinks and even wool.
Description: Kentish Ale is a fermented malt-based alcoholic beverage. It has a strong aroma of hops and a balanced full bitter flavour. It is golden brown in colour with a light creamy head when poured, Its “alcohol by volume” content ranges from 3.5% to 6.0%.
Geographical Area: Kent.
Production: The ale must be made by Shepherd Neame. This is due to the fact that the Shepherd Neame is the only company brewing the ale as Kentish Ale in the designated area. It is the oldest brewery in England which has been brewing ale at the same site since 1698.
Significance: The unique characteristic of the ale is the fact that the applicant still follows the traditional method of using water from the artesian well situated below the brewery. The ale also has a Royal Warrant Appointment.
Featured: Shepherd Neame Double Stout
Description: The Cornish pasty is a savoury ‘D’ shaped pasty which is filled with beef, vegetables and seasonings. The pasty has crimped edges.
Geographical Area: The County of Cornwall.
Production: The pastry can be shortcrust, rough puff or puff. Cornish pasties are filled with raw ingredients which cook whilst the pasty is baked. It can be glazed using milk or eggs or both, providing the golden colour.
The mandatory filling ingredients for Cornish pasties are potato, swede, onion, beef and seasoning. No meats other than beef, and no vegetables other than those listed in the mandatory ingredients are to be used in the filling. Moreover, the vegetable content must be no less than 25% of the whole pasty and the meat content must be no less than 12.5%.
Significance: Cornish Pasties were made and eaten as early as the 1500s by working families; meat was included in the recipe later. Towards the end of the 18th Century, the Cornish pasty had become the staple diet of working families across Cornwall.
The size and shape of a Cornish Pasty made it easy to carry, the pastry case insulated the nourishing contents and was durable enough to survive. The crimped edge could also be used as a handle and discarded, particularly by those working in tin mines which had high levels of arsenic.
Featured: Brian Etherington Meat Co
Welsh Caerphilly/Caerffili Cheese
Description: A hard cheese made using pasteurised or raw Welsh cow’s milk.
Welsh Caerphilly is a fresh, young cheese with a mild and slightly lemony taste and a fresh lingering aftertaste. The flavour develops during maturation to give a more pronounced and fuller, yet still mild flavour.
The cheese is best eaten young – from 10 days old. It can also be matured for up to 6 months
Geographical Area: Wales.
Production: Caerphilly is a flat, round-shaped cheese with a uniform consistent creamy white texture. The outside of the cheese is smooth and intact and may have a slightly moulded coat which historically was presented dusted with fine oatmeal or flour when sold.
Significance: Welsh Caerphilly is the only native cheese of Wales.
Featured: Caws Cenarth
Cornish Clotted Cream
Description: Cornish clotted cream is heat-treated high butterfat cows’ milk cream. It has a characteristic nutty flavour. The cream has a thick and thin consistency and a cream to golden yellow colour. It is spread rather than poured.
Geographical Area: The County of Cornwall.
Production: Milk is warmed to separate the cream which must have a minimum butterfat content of 55%. The cream is then scalded to around 70 or 80º C for a minimum of one hour during which time a thick crust forms. The cream is not allowed to boil. The product is then cooled, during which time the crust hardens and the underside cream thickens.
Significance: Only milk produced in Cornwall is used. Cornwall has a warm climate which extends the grass growing season. The abundance of grass means that cows produce milk with the highest percentage of butterfat content in England and Wales (an average 4.33% compared with 4.1%). Moreover, the high carotene content of the grass contributes to Cornish clotted cream’s golden colour. The cream is high quality and has a widely recognised reputation, attributed to its Cornish heritage.
Cornish Clotted Cream has been made in Cornwall to extend the life of milk high in butterfat for several centuries; it is even noted in seventeenth-century literature. Cornish Clotted Cream is best known as an integral part of a cream tea.
Featured: Rodda’s Clotted Cream
Stornoway Black Pudding
Description: Stornoway Black Puddings are unique to Stornoway, the capital of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. They have a rich, deep reddish-brown to deep brown colour when raw, varying according to individual local recipes.
Geographical Area: The town of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and the surrounding ‘Stornoway Trust’ area which includes 45 parishes.
Production: Only the following ingredients may be used in the production of Stornoway Black Puddings: beef suet, oatmeal, onion, blood, salt and
pepper with the addition of water.
The proportions of these ingredients must fall within the ranges below. The Stornoway Black Pudding is unique in that it uses only the following ingredients in order of quantity.
• Beef suet: 37% – 50%
• Oatmeal: 16% – 20%
• Onion: 15% – 18%
• Sheep, Cow or Pigs Blood: 12% – 26%
• Salt: 0.6% – 2%
• Pepper: 0.4% – 2%
Significance: Farming, or crofting, has been at the core of communities on the Isle of Lewis for hundreds of years. A subsistence economy, farmers kept a small number of sheep and/or pigs and cows; they had to ensure that every part of those animals was utilised to the full.
With no refrigeration, Marag Dubh (the black pudding) was stored in oatmeal to keep it dry and cool. Marag Dubh was a hearty, iron-rich food for the inhabitants of Stornoway.
Since black pudding has made the transition from a simple subsistence food to being recognised as a delicacy.
Featured: Stornoway Black Pudding
Description: Beef cuts and meat derived from cattle raised and processed within the designated geographical area.
Geographical Area: The mainland of Scotland, including the islands off the West Coast, Orkney and the Shetland Isles.
Production: Scotch Beef is derived from cattle born, reared for the entirety of their lives, slaughtered and dressed in the designated geographical area. The animals must be produced and slaughtered in accordance with quality assurance schemes accredited to European Standards.
Significance: Since the 19th century Scotch Beef has been renowned for its consistently superior qualities due to traditional feeding systems.