I never thought I'd be saying Black Forest gateau and Stornoway black pudding in the same sentence.
Bear with me, the two are not unrelated.
It was announced this week that after a lengthy European bureaucratic process the cherry, chocolate and cream cake originating in Badem-Wurttemberg in Germany has been granted protected status – which means it can only be called Black Forest gateau if it's made from cherries grown in the place that carries its name. Cheaper imitations – those that don't use the expensive tart German cherries soaked in their own kirsch – will have to be called something else.
Campaigners for Stornoway black pudding will be holding their collective breath, for the suet, oatmeal, onion and blood pudding is also due to be endowed with a PGI (protected geographical indicator) next week after a four-year wait. The application came about after it was threatened by "imposter puddings" labelled as Stornoway, but made outwith the Western Isles. Some mainland producers were labelling it "Stornoway-style" black pudding, but it's the indigenous Hebridean oats that make the real thing different.
When its PGI finally comes, Stornoway black pudding will join Arbroath smokies, Bonchester cheese, Scotch beef and lamb, Orkney beef and lamb and Scotch whisky as protected Scottish products. Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop cheese, Scottish wild salmon and Orkney Island cheddar are still waiting.
It's worth the wait for producers. Under the 1993 EU law, a food or drink registered at a European level is given legal protection against imitation throughout the EU, and producers who register their products for protection benefit from having raised awareness of their product throughout Europe. What next: Swiss roll? Lorne sausage?
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