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Forfar Bridie recognition bid

Published: 5 Sep 2015 10:00

Food Secretary launches application for EU protection of Forfar Bridies.

An application has been lodged to gain European protected status for the much loved Forfar Bridie, following a working collaboration between two well-known Angus bakeries.

Scotland's Food Secretary Richard Lochhead today (Saturday) announced the Forfar Bridie Producers Association, a collaborative team made up of McLaren & Son Bakers and Saddlers of Forfar, were applying for Protected Food Name (PFN) status for the famous Scottish snack.

If successful, the status will offer Forfar Bridies protection against imitation and provide it with increased product awareness.

The Cabinet Secretary said:

"Achieving protected status for Forfar Bridies will ensure that consumers at home and across the EU have a one hundred per cent guarantee of the product's authenticity.

"A Forfar Bridie is a delicious, traditional savoury Scottish snack. We already have other great Scottish foods, such as Stornoway Black Pudding, Scotch Beef and Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop, which have European protected status and are free from imitation. It guarantees the food's provenance and supports local producers, like the Forfar Bridie Producers Association."

The Forfar Bridie is a solid horseshoe or 'D' shaped pastry made of a savoury beef and onion filling in a shortcrust pastry case. It has become tradition to eat these bridies for lunch on Saturday in Forfar.

Karen Murray is the fifth generation of bakers at McLaren & Son in Forfar. She said:

"We've been making Forfar Bridies at McLaren's the Bakers since 1893, and applying for Protected Food Name Status will ensure that we protect the heritage of a real Forfar Bridie and that customers can be assured that what they're eating the real thing. Applying for PFN status will also help us raise awareness of the history behind a real Forfar Bridie, as well as giving a boost to the town and local food and drink in Angus."

Angus Provost Helen Oswald said: "The Forfar Bridie holds a unique place in the town's heritage and is popular with tourists and visitors to the area. It is one of the county's most famous produce and an important part of our history. It's only right that we work towards protected status for the Forfar Bridie and achieving PGI status will make sure that consumers are guaranteed of the product's authenticity.

"Angus is a fabulous part of Scotland not only for growing food but also for the diverse range of food produce some of which are showcased at the Dundee Food and Flower festival this weekend. We would love to see the Forfar Bridie part of the PGI larder which includes the Arbroath Smokie."

The word 'Bridie' has no meaning either in English, Scots or Gaelic other than its connection with the Forfar Bridie. It is claimed the word comes from 'bride's meal' with the very first pasties being served at the wedding feast and fashioned into a horse show shape, the symbol for good luck.

The geographical area for a Forfar Bridie, if the application for protected status is successful, will be the towns of Forfar, Glamis and Kinnettles.

Notes to editors

• In 1993 EU legislation came into force which provides for a system for the protection of food names on a geographical or traditional recipe basis.
The EU Protected Food Name scheme highlights regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. The product is awarded one of three marks: Protected Designation of Origin (PDO); Protected Geographical Indication (PGI); and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG).
Under this system a named food or drink registered at a European level will be given legal protection against imitation throughout the EU.
Producers who register their products for protection benefit from having a raised awareness of their product throughout Europe. This may in turn help them take advantage of consumers' increasing awareness of the importance of regional and speciality foods.

• About Think Local
o Think Local is a three-year, Scottish Government funded project, which will help to develop a commercial and sustainable local food & drink sector in Scotland, on a regional basis.
o Think Local is being delivered by SRUC, Scotland's Rural College, the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society and Scottish Food Quality Certification, and includes collaboration with Scotland Food and Drink, the Scottish Association of Farmers Markets, and the National Farmers' Retail & Markets Association.
o www.thinklocalscotland.co.uk
o @ThinkLocalScot

• About the Community Food Fund
o The Community Food Fund is financed by The Scottish Government and has been created to promote local food and drink.
o The £1.5 million Community Food Fund will be delivered over three years. The Community Food Fund will be available to:
o Support development of local food networks
o Support communities to run local food events
o Target specifically communities attempting to tackle deprivation
o Deliver training and development
o Develop farmer's markets and farm retail opportunities
o In relation to Scotland's National Food and Drink Policy, the Community Food Fund will focus on two main outcomes:
o Supporting development of food trails and networks
o Establish local food and drink event, including farmers' markets, that celebrate and promote food and drink throughout the year
o www.communityfoodfund.co.uk

• A Taste of Angus is an Angus Council initiative and works in partnership with food and drink producers to promote the fantastic Angus produce.

• Angus Council, McLaren's Bakers, Saddlers Bakers and Think Local have been working to bring this application together.

• J.M. Barrie (1860-1937), author of Peter Pan, wrote about the Bridie in his novel Sentimental Tommy (1896, page 206). This is an account of a little boy growing up in a town called 'Thrums' which was based on Kirriemuir, six miles from Forfar, where Barrie himself was born and raised. He certainly would have been familiar with the Bridie from his childhood days.
"She nibbled dreamily at a hot sweet-smelling bridie, whose gravy oozed deliciously through a burst paper-bag."
The word 'Bridie' has no meaning either in English, Scots or Gaelic other than its connection with the Forfar Bridie. It is claimed that the word bridie comes from 'bride's meal' the pasties being served at the wedding feast and fashioned into a horse shoe shape, the symbol for good luck.
A local story claims the Forfar Bridie was invented by and took its name from one Margaret Bridie of Glamis who sold these meat pasties at the Butter Market at Forfar in the eighteenth century. Recent genealogical research shows that there was a Margaret Bridie who lived in the first part of the eighteenth century in Glamis. It is possible that the bridie was invented in and around Forfar using the local Angus beef and made by wives for their husbands working in the fields. Margaret Bridie sold them successfully in Forfar at the Buttermarket. Jolly's of Queen Street in Forfar were making them in the 1840's.

• In 2004, the Arbroath Smokie was registered by the European Commission as a PGI.