Yorkshire looks to EU to protect its famous pudding
By Annette Reuther Mar 25, 2010, 4:06 GMT
London - It may look like a typical pudding, but Yorkshire pudding has a well-earned reputation as the caviar of British cuisine.
Not surprisingly, the people from this windswept part of the north of England are proud of their world famous dish. Now, the region's pudding producers are looking to prevent cheaper puddings made elsewhere from using the name 'Yorkshire pudding.'
To help them in their fight, the pudding makers are looking to the European Union, where they hope their product will be granted Protected Designation of Origin status from the European Commission's Protected Food Name scheme alongside other household names such as Champagne, Nuremberg Bratwurst and Parma Ham.
The Regional Food Group for Yorkshire and Humber is leading the campaign, saying it wants to ensure that the flour, milk and egg dish, which is part and parcel of Sunday roasts throughout Britain, has to be produced there to be called Yorkshire pudding.
EU protection 'would prevent people from other parts of the world from making the dish and marketing it as Yorkshire pudding,' explains Sarah Knapper of the Regional Food Group.
However, such a move is unlikely to prove popular even in Great Britain where thousands of pubs would have to rename their Sunday dishes.
The move by the Regional Food Group follows the success of having Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb added to the EU protected name list. Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb has been grown by candlelight since the 1950s in an area of the county known as the Rhubarb Triangle.
Previous efforts to achieve protected status for Yorkshire pudding have failed and European Commission experts believe the same will happen again this time around, arguing that the dish is in fact a generic food.
There are even doubts as to whether the move will get enough domestic support to succeed with many other English regions where Yorkshire pudding is produced likely to lodge protests.
Producers in Yorkshire, though, are optimistic that they can at least achieve the EU's 'Traditional Speciality Guaranteed' (TSG) status. Rather than looking at areas of origin, TSG highlights traditional character, either in the composition or means of production, with Pizza Napoletana a recent example.
In order to gain TSG status, producers are going to have to present a traditional recipe for Yorkshire Pudding, which the Regional Food Group claims dates back to the 18th century.
So far, around 40 British products have managed to attain protected EU status, including Clotted Cream from Cornwall, Whitstable oysters and Stilton cheese. In comparison, around 300 Italian and French products enjoy protected status.