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Over the decades different continental foods have been given protected geographical status, with the UK lagging sadly way down the league table. Recent years have seen this wrong begin to be righted with everything from Yorkshire rhubarb to Melton Mobray pies, now given a Designated Origin Certificate (DOC).
The latest English food stuff to be so recognised is the wonderful Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, which produces some of the finest pork you will ever eat. If you’ve yet to sample it, go now and seek it out before this new recognition forces prices up.
What is particularly galling, however, is that one of the North West’s true gourmet delicacies, Lancashire Cheese, has also not gained DOC status. We are blessed here in the North West because not only is our eponymous cheese delicious but it also comes in three varieties – Crumbly, Creamy and the Incomparable tasty. I was talking recently on BBC Radio Lancashire with fellow panellists Faye Kitching of the acclaimed cheese maker Leagrams, who explained that along with their other Artisan cheese makers – all based around Chipping – they had explored the possibility of gaining DOC status for their wares.
The sad thing is, until this is achieved, supermarket chains the length and breadth of the UK will keep selling “Lancashire Cheese” that has come from nowhere near our quarter of the country but is merely indicative of a style, as is the case with Cheddar.
I say let’s start the campaign here for real Lancashire Cheese to come from within our own county. If it’s good enough for the cheese makers of Camembert or Parmesan it’s surely good enough for us. Blessed are the cheese makers.