The Netherlands asks EU for official recognition of Limburgse vlaai
The Netherlands has submitted an application on behalf of the Dutch and Belgian Limburg regions for the local traditional sweet treat, vlaai, to receive official recognition from the EU in the form of a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
Recognising vlaai as a product of Protected Geographical Indication
The European Commission has granted over 100 European and international products PGI status over the past 15 years, such as Oktoberfestbier from Germany and Jambon d'Ardenne from France. The quality label is bestowed upon regional products “provided that the quality, reputation or other characteristics of the product can be attributed to that geographical origin.”
So far, no Dutch food has managed to secure PGI recognition from the EU, but all that could be about to change, as the country has submitted an application on behalf of the popular pie from the Limburg region, known traditionally as vlaai.
Described as “a fresh, golden brown baked round cake with a diameter of minimum 10 cm and maximum 30 cm” that consists of “a bottom, filling and possibly a top layer,” vlaai is traditionally filled with fruit, rice pudding, cream, semolina porridge, fresh cheese, or a sugar / egg filling. The PGI application also outlines the history of the food, explaining that it is "part of Limburg's gastronomic heritage" and has become "a symbol of the Limburg provinces" in both the Netherlands and Belgium.
How to make traditional Limburgse vlaai from scratch
The Dutch and Belgian tradition of Limburgse vlaai dates all the way back to the 12th century, and up until the mid-20th century was seen as a luxury, being served only on public holidays or at weddings or other significant occasions. Now, though, you can find vlaai in various bakeries and supermarkets across the Netherlands.
Whether or not the European Commission decides to award it PGI status, vlaai is certainly a delicious treat that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Want to have a go at making your own? Why not try out this recipe for version of the traditional pie with a tasty apple filling?
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