british teaLooks like I can’t seem to stop myself from writing about food…

Today, the 2009 British Food Fair opened in Taipei, Taiwan. The food fair is being overseen by the British Trade and Cultural Office, in cooperation with City’Super, a well known high end supermarket in the country. The features of the food fair are, according to BTCO Director David Campbell, “sweet and savoury products specially sourced from the United Kingdom to bring local customers the taste of traditional British culinary culture.”

Naturally, the British tradition of tea and biscuits is the focal point of the food fair. In fact, Clare Lear of the British Assistance and Services Section of BTCO gave a demonstration on how to whip up a British afternoon tea using some of the products on display in the food fair. Some of these products include tea, biscuits, sauces, and chocolate.

The food fair will run until 4 September and is being hosted by three branches of the supermarket in the city. People who visit the food fair will be in for a treat – not only because of the UK food products being presented but also because they have the chance to win a round trip ticket to the UK, a Brompton Baby Pink bicycle, and a Dyson vacuum cleaner. In addition to these, entrance tickets to the Pixar 20th anniversary exhibition are also up for grabs.

While majority of the British might not have had the chance to visit Taipei, it does give you a sense of pride to know that people on the other side of the world are interested in your culture, doesn’t it?

cornish_pastyAt least if Cabinet minister Hilary Benn’s call is heeded. In a statement released late last week, Benn declared that traditional British dishes should be given their rightful due. If you are not aware of it yet, there is such a thing as the Protected Food Names scheme, which was launched in 1992. Under this scheme, certain companies may register food products if they meet the following requirements:

• The food must be produced in a specific local area
• The food must be prepared using unique methods
• The recipes must be unique.

Other countries such as Spain, France, and Italy have already registered hundreds of products since the scheme’s inception. In contrast, the United Kingdom only has 38 registered food products; hence the minister’s call for more products to be registered.

Some of the food products that have already been registered include:

• Kentish Ale
• Gloucestershire Cider
• West Country Farmhouse Cheddar
• Cornish Clotted Cream
• Jersey Royal Potatoes

There are some products which are already in the process of being approved under the said scheme:

• Craster Kippers
• Colchester Oysters
• Lough Neagh Eels
• Cardigan Bay Prawns
• Cornish pasties
• Birmingham Balti.

Among the food products that Benn wants to be recognised are:

• London Porter beer
• Cheshire Cheese
• Bedfordshire Clanger pies
• Stottie Cakes
• York Ham
• Sussex Pond Pudding
• Yorkshire Parkin

Now doesn’t all that food make you hungry? So what’s stopping you? Just make sure you get the “real thing!”