By Shelley Marsden
TALKS were underway in Cavan on Monday to discuss the possibility of giving Ireland’s beloved potato pancake EU Protected Geographical Indication status.
In gastronomic terms it may not rate as high as Italian truffles, French champagne or Russian caviar, but is just as loved by the country that created it. And according to the Irish folk rhyme, “If you can’t bake boxty, sure you’ll never get a man”.
The status of boxty – Ireland’s potato-based savoury pancake – was debated in a meeting organised by Independent MEP Marian Harkin in response to approaches by artisan producers in Cavan and surrounding counties who have shown interest in procuring the food an EU ‘Protected Geographical Indication’ (PGI) status.
In November, the European Commission awarded the Waterford Blaa – floury bap – a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) following an almost two-year campaign, so boxty could be about to join the list on the Database of Origin and Registration -,the European database of protected produce, which includes Clare Island Salmon, Irish Salmon, Connemara Hill lamb, Timoleague Brown Pudding Pudding and Imokilly Regato.
Meaning “poor-house bread” in Irish, boxty has enjoyed an increase in popularity in recent years as interest in Irish cuisine has risen. It can sometimes be seen on restaurant menus, and can be bought in shops either in dumpling form or ready cooked as pancakes.