Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Lochhead Does Battle Over Shortbread

According to today's Daily Record Richard Lochhead the SNP candidate for Moray is determined to fight for Protected Designation of Origin for shortbread. He wants the European mark to be placed on the product so it can only be made in Scotland. Now while I admit that there are many fine examples in Scotland being of Ulster Scots descent I would like to point out that family recipes have crossed the George's Channel to Ireland and many restaurants and businesses serve up good local samples all over Ireland. A PDO for Scotland would prevent the locally produced Irish samples of the cooking art being sold to customers.

Now PDO's do serve a useful purpose, Parma ham, Jarlsberg cheese, Champagne etc all benefit as they come from a particular region. However, should Cheddar ever seek to claim a PDO on its cheese cheese manufacturers all across the would would have to scramble to rename one of the most popular brands. The problem with shortbread is that it was homebaking and moved with the bakers before big business came in, and some of those bakers migrated to Ireland in the early 17th Century. Unlike Parma ham which was cured in a certain way and the Arbroath smokie for similar reasons which have established localised geographic reasons for the PDO. Shortbread reipes having been passed down mother to daughter for generations has spread as migration has taken it.

I'm sorry Richard but claiming shortbread as purely for Scotland is taking Scottish Nationalism too far and forgetting your cousins who have disperced through the centuries. Maybe I'm being cynical but does the SNP really need the 1200 votes of Walkers employees at Elgin and Aberlour that much that Richard needs to make them feel their pretty secure jobs are under threat, just two days before the election, and to say so in a paper they are liable to read.

1 comment:

  1. Ridiculous. It's like saying that pork pies should only be made in Leicestershire as opposed to Melton Mowbray ones which are made in a distinct way.