London-based smoked salmon producers H. Forman & Son have achieved the first Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for a product made in London.
PGI’s, which are enforced by law are designed to protect and celebrate traditional regional foods, such as Gorgonzola in Italy or Champagne in France and in order to receive this status, the entire product must be processed within a specific region.
H. Forman & Son’s London Cure smoked salmon has to be produced in the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney or Newham and recognises that UK and London cuisines are globally important cultural artefacts.
Lance Forman, owner of H. Forman, said: “Mass manufacturing has upended the way salmon is made, and not in a good way. As the fourth-generation leader of a family business, we have seen traditional smokehouses in the East End of London dwindle from a multitude to almost none. Our business is not just to smoke salmon, but to act as keepers of an extraordinary tradition, with the mission and desire to educate the public on how this traditional food should be made”.
The ingredients in the London Cure are PGI-protected Scottish salmon, oak smoke and salt. In order to be considered London Cure, the salmon must be smoked and processed entirely by hand. The smoke acts as a seal to lock in the taste of the salmon rather than to flavour it and as such London Cure salmon described as a more delicate product.
Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who visited H. Forman & Son, commented: “London Cure Smoked Salmon has been cherished by food lovers in the capital for generations and the traditional skills used to produce it today are testament to the rich culinary heritage we have in this country. It will now rightly sit alongside Cornish sardines, Conwy mussels and Whitstable oysters as examples of the world-class produce that uphold our reputation as a great food nation.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added: “When I publish my new London Food Strategy next year I’ll be showcasing the best of food and drink manufacturing in London. H. Forman & Son is a great example of what this city has to offer as a traditional London firm that has adapted and thrived over the years to become the best in their business. I congratulate them on achieving this prestigious award for London.”
H. Forman & Son regularly invites the public to visit the smokehouse, with tours and open days, so they can understand the manufacturing process from a viewing gallery installed over the factory.
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