These 5 weird items might get special EU protections

Anglesey sea salt and West Country beef have this week been given the same protected status as champagne, parma ham and Cornish pasties by the European Commission.

Halen Mon, the makers of Anglesey sea salt – famous for its crunchy texture and clean taste, they say – will be able to use one of the EU’s protected status logos on their products to show it is made using techniques specific to the region.

While very few European shoppers are even aware of the protection scheme, there is some evidence that margins rise for producers once they win protection.

Here are some other UK products that are protected, or are trying to get protection:

Makers of the Birmingham Balti applied last October for protection under the traditional speciality guaranteed rules, which protect food that is made using traditional methods. Lib Dem MEP Phil Bennion has backed the Birminham Balti Association’s campaign

Just one product made in London is seeking protection under the rules – and that’s London cure smoked Scottish salmon. The smoked fish has been made for more than a century at Forman’s Fish Island, in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium.

Yorkshire forced rhubarb, grown in the dark to make it tougher and more acidic, has enjoyed protection distribution of origin status since 2010.

The rules don't just cover food – native Shetland wool, collected under very specific circumstances, is also protected.

Jersey royal potatoes were one of the first UK products to win protection in 1996. The biggest producer of the spuds is in takeover talks.