The term protected geographical indication normally brings to mind such items as champagne, parma ham or maybe Melton Mowbray pies but recently, another less obvious item has received the same recognition... namely Fenland celery which was awarded the status last year and became the first English vegetable to have the coveted award.
Fenland celery ( also known as dirty celery by locals ) has a short season between October and January. The rich, dark soil of the Cambridgeshire fens around Ely in which it is grown contributes to its distinctive nutty flavour and the tradition of earthing the soil up means it has a paler colour.
Celery, like many other fruit and vegetables, is now available all year long, but Fenland celery with its short season was, in Victorian times, a prized addition to the Christmas feast and was often presented in special celery vases.
Recently, due to its protected status, Fenland celery has been enjoying a resurgence.
I came home from our local greengrocer yesterday with some fenland celery, the black fen soil still clinging to the pale stems. It's not difficult to see why it is also called dirty celery!
With its delicious taste, it seemed best to enjoy it raw and this recipe for hummus seemed to be the perfect accompaniment.
It made a lovely lunch.
P.S. my blog posts have been a little sparse lately. There are two reasons for this:
1. computer problems! My old laptop died and I was getting to grips with windows 8 on a new machine when it was found to be faulty and had to be returned. I am now mastering a chromebook and so far we are getting on well together ....
2. the imminent arrival of our first grandchild. Baby's due date has come and gone and we are still waiting! But lovely daughter number 1 is coping very well and is still blooming.