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Monday, 20 April 2009

Red faces over Leicestershire cheese

The Times reports that attempts to obtain an appellation of origin for Red Leicester have come to a halt after the various makers of the cheese could not agree on the recipe. Despite securing the backing of a local councillor for protection of the cheese under the name 'Leicestershire cheese' (presumably Red Leicester was thought to be generic), the two main makers of the cheese, David and Jo Clarke and Long Clawson dairy can't agree on whether a starter, commonly used in Swiss cheeses should be included. Yes, says Long Clawson, but no say the Clarkes, who insist that the addition of the starter alters the flavour of the cheese. It appears therefore that the application is now on hold, although the local councillor, Mr O'Callaghan, hopes that the process will eventually go ahead. 'The most difficult part of the whole process in applying for protection is agreeing what you are trying to protect' he is quoted as saying.

The IPKat is puzzled. How traditional can this cheese be, and how much of a reputation can it have if the people who make it can't agree on the recipe?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

To my mind, disagreements about the recipe prove that it is traditional. Recipes passed down by word of mouth and modified from time to time either deliberately or through chinese whispers.

Anonymous said...

... or cheese whispers?

Anonymous said...

...or too much cheese in the ears?

Anonymous said...

The term "Red Leicester" is not the traditional name for the cheese - it's only existed since the 50s, when dyes were once more allowed to be added to cheese (following a ban on dyes in order to enable a "standard" cheese to be made during wartime rationing).

But the use of orange colouring was taken from other areas, since it was held that orange cheese indicated better quality. So the colour isn't really part of the GI application anyway, one suspects...

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