Friday, 26 February 2010

Celebrating Britain’s Protected Products

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb has become the latest British product to achieve Protected Designated Origin (PDO) status from the European Commission this week.

PDO status safeguards regional foods by preventing producers from outside the designated geographical area from calling it by the protected name. Products are also extensively audited, ensuring that traditional production methods are maintained and consumers can be confident that they are buying an authentic product.

Britain, and in particular Yorkshire, has been slow to cotton on to the benefits of PDO but Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb now joins Swaledale Cheese as a uniquely Yorkshire product and becomes the 41st British product to be added to the list of legally protected names. It is in good company, joining the likes of West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, Stilton cheese, Cornish clotted cream, Jersey Royal potatoes, and Melton Mowbry pork pies.

The Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes have applied for PDO status for ‘Yorkshire Wensleydale’ and after a lengthy 3 year campaign have a decision pending for later this year. Bizarrely they claim that 56% of the Wensleydale cheese sold in the UK is not actually made in Wenslydale at all, but is made elsewhere in counties such as Lancashire, Cheshire & Shropshire. I’m sure Wallace and Gromit would have something to say about that, lad.

Anything that helps preserve the heritage, character and reputation of British foods and gives our producers an advantage over cheap imitations must be a positive move.
Surely when it comes down to it, the clue should be in the name?


  1. I really don't understand what all the fuss is about with rhubarb. It is a disgusting food. Why bother?

  2. I'm inclined to agree if we are talking about the normal outdoor grown variety that more often than not is stringy and amazingly sour. But the bright pink forced stuff is a differenet beast altgether, really delicious! You don't fancy a rhubarb ale then?

  3. There are lots of rhubarb varieties and some may be disgusting but we pick our unforced rhubarb straight from our allotment and it isn't stringy (old sticks are stringy) or sour (depends on the variety) just delicious.

  4. Sounds like we shouldn't disparage rhubarb at all then - just seek out a grower who knows what they are doing. I also think that part of the problem is that our modern day palates are too used to overly sweet flavours.