Wensleydale, a white, crumbly cheese with a grassy tang, made at the Wensleydale Creamery at Hawes, North Yorkshire has entered the final stage to secure “Protected Geographical Indication” (PGI) status. Currently, this is the only creamery producing “Yorkshire Wensleydale”. If approved, other creameries in the protected area would be allowed to produce this cheese using the methods in the original application to DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs)which can be read by clicking here (The Lady and I found the application quite interesting, but we are Cheese Geeks, so what do you expect…)
DEFRA has approved the application, after more than three years (The Lady commented that the government wheels in the UK turn about as quickly as those of the Rat Ass Bastards in our own government… again, please keep in mind that adversarial comments about the US Government are those of The Lady and not necessarily shared by your favorite Feline Foodie… that would be moi…). Now the application is before the EU, where basically it will sit for six months waiting to see if any other cheesemakers object to this status being granted. If not, then Yorkshire Wensleydale will join fourteen other English cheeses with the protected status. You can view the entire list at Wikipedia.com.
This year David Hartley, the Managing Director of the Wensleydale Creamery, received recognition this year at the 2010 World Cheese Awards for his contribution to keeping the real Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheeses alive and his overall outstanding work as an Ambassador for Cheesemakers in general.
Mr. Hartley left school at the age of 16 and immediately went to work in a creamery. He later returned to school and received a degree in food and dairy technology. Following graduation he went to work for Dairy Crest in its creamery at Kendal. When that facility closed he joined Wensleydale and headed up a management buyout in 1992 which literally kept Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese production alive in Hawes.
Today the creamery employs more than 200 residents and when the protected status is awarded, it will be the culmination of a lifelong career and dream of Mr. Hartley.
The Lady and I congratulate David Hartley on his Awards and his passion for cheesemaking. It is professionals like David who keep cheesemaking an art and not simply a commodity.
For more information, please read Victoria Moore’s Article in the London Telegraph.
Bit of trivia: The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie also has protected status.