Fenland celery is first English vegetable to gain protected status

Fenland celery - image: Nick Saltmarsh
Fenland celery - image: Nick Saltmarsh
Fenland celery has become the first English vegetable to gain Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status from the European Union.

Celery growing in East Anglia was only revived in 2000 by grower G's Fresh, who led the PGI status bid.

Its marketing director Anthony Gardiner said: "It's been difficult to convey to shoppers what makes it such a premium product. We hope that this will raise its profile and draw attention to what makes it so different."

Usually available from October to December, the paler, "earthed-up" celery is said to get its nutty, bittersweet taste and crisp, tender texture in part from the deep, peaty Fenland soil.

The designation, which follows a four-year application process, protects the vegetables from imitation throughout the EU.

Over 30 UK food products with sales totalling £1bn now have PGI status, which was introduced in 1993.

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