Stornoway black pudding given protected status

image captionOnly puddings made on Lewis can now be described as Stornoway black pudding

Stornoway's famous black pudding has been granted protected status - putting it alongside the likes of Champagne and the Cornish pasty.

The European Commission has awarded the pudding Protected Geographical Indication.

The status means it can only be described as Stornoway black pudding if it is produced in the town or parish of Stornoway on Lewis.

It follows a campaign by four island butchers and Rhoda Grant MSP.

They were concerned at the international use of Stornoway or Stornoway style on menus to describe inferior puddings.

Ms Grant, a Labour MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said: "I am delighted that Stornoway Black Pudding has been awarded Protected Geographical Indicator status by the European Commission.

"This helps put Stornoway on the map as a producer of high quality produce and ensures the unique black pudding cannot be replicated anywhere else."

John Smith, whose father, also John, bought over W J MacDonald butchers in Stornoway's Francis Street in 1974, said the news had been "a long time coming".

The 54-year-old said: "It's a big thing for us. We started campaigning for this about four years ago and it had to go through the Scottish Parliament first, before being sent to European level.

"It means now that the ingredients and the way it is made will be set in stone. There will be no deviating from that."

Mr Smith added: "We're glad to be sharing the same privilege as, say, Parma ham, which can only be called that if it is made in a specific area."

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said Stornoway black pudding was a world-renowned delicacy that fully deserved to be given protected status.

He added: "It is important that people know where their food comes from - and any Scottish product gaining this prestigious certification will give customers from home and abroad the guarantee that what they are buying is the genuine product."

Angus Campbell, leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said the local authority wished to congratulate all those involved in the campaign to gain the designation.

He said: "The Western Isles have a reputation for high class produce and Stornoway Black Pudding is recognised as an excellent foodstuff, delicious whether it be for breakfast or as an integral part of fine class dining in some of the best restaurants in the world."

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