Today I heard the news that at last the Melton Mowbray pork pie has received special protected geographical status. This means that it is now in company with Arbroath Smokies, Cornish Clotted Cream, Welsh Lamb, and further afield Parma Ham, and Champagne. And that only producers making pork pies using a traditional recipe and in the vicinity of Melton Mowbray can use the town's name. Wondrous news!
One irony is that Matthew O'Callaghan, who has worked tirelessly for the status of the pork pie, is in fact a vegetarian!
For those who haven't yet lost the will to live, a proper Melton Mowbray pork pie consists of the finest fresh, uncured (hence the grey appearance), British pork, with pastry that is hand-formed giving a slightly irregular appearance, and with the final ingredient of natural bone-stock jelly. These delicacies appeared at all Melton Mowbray social gatherings we attended, and as the finest pork pies, made by Dickinson & Morris since 1851, can be purchased in a number of supermarkets, they appear regularly at our regional ministry team meetings, and on other special occasions. Probably they are now most enjoyed in our home for breakfast on Christmas Day (and Boxing Day), maintaining what is an established Leicestershire custom.