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Blaa blaa blaa: Waterford bap considered for EU protected status

Waterford’s own unique doughy roll is being considered for European Protected Geographical Integrity status, bakers say.

A blaa is identified by the flour sprinkled on the top before baking - the key difference between it and a bap.
A blaa is identified by the flour sprinkled on the top before baking - the key difference between it and a bap.

ONE OF THE SOUTH-EAST’S most unique baking delicacies is being considered for a special EU designation which will forbid any similar products being branded with the same name.

The Blaa – a soft, doughy form of bap, natively made in Waterford City – is under consideration for the status of European Protected Geographical Integrity – which, if granted, will mean that no foodstuff produced outside the city can use the name.

“The Blaa application is at stage two of the EU process,” city baker Dermot Walsh said. “If the status is received this will be an annual verification process for each of the bakeries making the Blaa.”

The annual inspections will require of complete traceability of all ingredients that go into the food, with the recipe and production method of each Blaa being rigorously studied.

The roll has been produced in the city for over three centuries, and local anecdotes suggest that the product never became popular outside the city because, being free of any artificial ingredients, it doesn’t travel well and is best eaten quickly.

Around 12,000 Blaas – believed to originate from the French ‘blanc’, meaning ‘white’ – are produced in the city every day, with all but a few consumed by lunch.

Only four Irish food products currently enjoy the European status for which the Blaa is now being considered.

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