Some fascinating news out of the Disunited Kingdom (why, when there is a queen on the throne, isn’t it called a Queendom I wonder? Women’s Lib should have something to say about it, no? I’m surprised Queen Victoria didn’t but then, like Elizabeth the First she probably believed she had the heart of a prince so it really didn’t matter.) But that is a digression. The wonderful piece of news I have to relate has nothing whatsoever to do with him, her, and the pending you know what. I’m surprised we haven’t learned what toothpaste they are going to use so that they have sparkling gnashers when they whisper those magic words “I do.” I suppose part of the reason why there is such a fuss and palaver is that the country hasn’t had much to smile about for a good many years and other parts of the world are in pretty bad shape and in need of something to lighten the gloom even if it is just the Cinderella story come true. Only in this case it wasn’t a glass slipper that did the trick but a see-through dress of scanty proportions.
No, the good news I have to relate, hip hip hooray and three hearty public school type or regimental cheers, is that the bacon of the good old Cumberland sausage has been saved, there’s a mix-up for you, and it can join the ranks of all those other products known by their place of origin, champagne for example and various cheeses or, in the case of Feta, a fierce battle with the usurper Denmark that Greece eventually won. Genuine Feta is Greek and only Greek. How dare the Danes call their cheese by that name? Greece seems to have problems with names; there is also the question of Macedonia still to sort out. Anyway, the Cumberland sausage, evidently enjoyed for more than five hundred years has become the 44th British food product to be given protected status. Now how could you possibly get a snippet of news more fascinating than that? Peter Gott, of the Cumberland Sausage Association, said: ‘This is a great milestone for the country and a well-deserved place in England’s food history for a truly sensational diverse food product.’ Wow is all wot I can says to that! There must be literally hundreds of different sausages in the world but none as diverse as the Cumberland, originally two feet long and in a coil, nice and peppery and eighty percent meat and three quarters of an inch thick, nothing less will do. If discovered as not being up to standard it will lose its protected status and what is more it should be produced only in Cumberland to be authentic as well as diverse. Now this creates a problem. Our butcher in Hebden Bridge made the most delicious Cumberland sausage which we used to thoroughly enjoy. His coils were a work of art, but does this mean that he can’t make them anymore or just that he has to call them a different name, like Macedonia is known by the Greeks as Fyrom?
I am simply fascinated that a singular type of sausage could have its own association. Is there a board of directors? Do they have an annual general meeting? Is there a general secretary? Are there shareholders? Are auditors employed to look after the finances? When will someone undertake the onerous task of writing an authentic history of this great British product? Soon I hope. I simply can’t wait.