"Waterford Blaa" to be EU Registered as Unique

The Irish government has begun the formal process to seek EU recognition of the unique characteristics of the Waterford ‘Blaa’ – the simple, but special, bread roll/bap that is associated with Waterford City. 
The Waterford Blaa
Minister Simon Coveney launched a national consultation process on the application of the “Waterford Blaa” for registration as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). On completion of the national consultation the application will be forwarded to the European Commission for review. Granting of this intellectual property protection to “Waterford Blaa” would mean that producers of the product within the specified region only could use this name.

Bakers from the Waterford Blaa Bakers Association
Minister Coveney said “The publishing of the specification document follows a period of engagement between the producer group in Waterford (Waterford Blaa Bakers Association) and my Department.”
He went on to say “It is important that we take advantage of the EU Quality Products Scheme; to date Ireland has not sufficiently exploited this opportunity, this is a positive step forward, I would encourage producers of regional products to discuss possible applications with my Department”.

The PGI scheme protects particular product names that are linked to a particular territory or to a production method. The products themselves do not have to be unique, yet the applications must show how the characteristics of the region – topographic, reputation, natural resources – have an impact on the characteristics of the product.

A Lamb burger on Waterford blaa topped with sweet cherry toms & dressing  fromEden Restaurant, Dublin,  who get their Blaas delivered from Waterford every day! pic via @MarkMatanes

The requirements for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) are:
  • The product/foodstuff originates from the defined geographical area
  • Possess a specific quality, reputation or other characteristics attributable to the defined geographic area
  • At least one stage of production, processing and preparation of the agricultural product or foodstuff takes place within the defined geographical area.

It is a stringent process and can take several years to complete from the time a decision to apply for the registration of a product is made. After analysis by national authorities it goes to Europe for consideration. Once it gets to European level the Blaa will undergo examination by the Commission services & publication with a 6-month opposition period before registration may be granted.

Four Irish products already have an EU Quality label:
Clare Island Salmon, Connemara Hill Lamb, Imokilly Regato, and Timoleague Brown Pudding. These products were worth €35 million to the Irish economy in 2010 and have a strong track record in the export market.
12% of Irish products bearing EU quality labels are sold within the Irish market, 82% are sold to other EU countries, and 6% are sold outside of the EU. In the EU as a whole the opposite is the case, as the vast majority of quality label products are sold within their country of production. This difference reflects the strong export-oriented nature of Ireland’s food production industry.

Don’t forget to Feed the Fish at the bottom of this post!

About IrishFoodGuide.ie - Zack Gallagher

Chef. Zack Gallagher. @IrishFoodGuide on Twitter. News about Food, Food Producers, Chefs and Irish Food Tourism, in Ireland. Food and Food Tourism Marketing at @IrishFoodTour. Irish Food Blogger and Journalist. Food Ambassador at @Failte_Ireland. Judge @BlasNahEireann Irish Food Awards #WildAtlanticWay
This entry was posted in baking, Bla, Blaa, bread, http://verygoodrecipes.com/irish, irish, news, recipe, Waterford, yeast. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to "Waterford Blaa" to be EU Registered as Unique

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey, what a great blog! I just wonder if you can help with the following (RE: Waterford Blaa): there seem to be a stage in the preparation of the rolls called 'pinning' (as mentioned here: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/agri-foodindustry/geographicalindicationsprotectednames/RevisedTechnicalSpecificationWaterfordBlaaJun2012.pdf). As it is not very clear what it involves, would you be able to clarify the stage for me please? Is it just manual shaping or it involves using a rolling pin? Thanks a million!

  2. I'll put that to the Waterford Bakers on Twitter and post their answers for ya!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am originally from Waterford and have happy memories of my dad nipping to the bakery on BallyBricken every morning to get fresh blaas.
    I have found a recipe which is very near to the taste I remember, my only problem is oven temperature and timing.
    I cook them on the middle shelf of my fan oven on 180-170 for 15 minutes.
    They brown slightly but I want them pale looking like the blaas I remember.
    The crumb is lovely and soft on the inside.
    Should I lower the temperature and cook for sligty longer to achieve the colour I want?
    Any advice from you would be extremely helpful.

    Kindest Regards

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.