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Dundee Cake seeks EU protection with Abertay help

6 September 2013

An application is being lodged to gain European protection for Dundee Cake, with the support of the Food Innovation team at the University of Abertay Dundee.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead made the announcement on a visit to the Dundee Flower and Food Festival, ahead of the start of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.

The Scottish Government and Scotland’s Rural College have been working with producers and experts from the Abertay University on an application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for the cake under the EU’s Protected Food Name (PFN) scheme.

The application will now be subject to a national consultation in line with the rules of the scheme, which was introduced in 1994 to protect food names on the basis of geographical or traditional recipes.

Dundee Cake is famously decorated with whole, blanched almonds and its distinctive recipe began development in the city in the late 1700’s.

Mr Lochhead said:

“Dundee is famous as a city of discoveries and we want the world to discover delicious, authentic Dundee Cake.

“We can trace its origins back hundreds of years to the kitchens of the marmalade inventor Janet Keiller, making it a thoroughly Dundonian delicacy which deserves European recognition for its unique characteristics and long association with this city.

“Scotland is world-famous for our wonderful food and drink, and people want to know they are buying the real deal. Achieving PGI status for Dundee Cake will ensure that consumers at home and abroad have a one hundred per cent guarantee of the product’s authenticity.

“We already have Scottish foods, such as Stornoway Black Pudding and Scotch Beef, which are PGI protected and free from imitation. It guarantees the food’s provenance and supports local producers.

“The PFN scheme can benefit producers of brands synonymous with Scotland by providing them with recognition of their product and safeguard it from imitation, and I would encourage them to look at taking this forward.”

Dundee Cake testing

Abertay's Food Innovation team, testing the recipe

Jennifer Bryson from Food Innovation @ Abertay said:

"Our development chef Maxine Clark worked with food historian Catherine Brown and Dundee bakers to develop a recipe for the definitive Dundee Cake.

"Original recipes from the Keiller family archive showed without doubt that this type of cake was developed in Dundee.  

"Taste trials were conducted with over 400 Dundonians and their preferences helped decide which recipe was to go forward with the application.  

"Food Innovation @ Abertay is pleased to have been involved with Scotland's Rural Colleges on this project, and that the Scottish Government has now submitted a PGI application for this wonderful local food product."

Dundee baker Martin Goodfellow, of Goodfellow and Steven, said:

“Although the Dundee Cake is a product that is known all over the world, it does not currently enjoy geographical protection and is produced in a number of locations to various quality levels. It is a significant part of our heritage and it is important that the cake is rightfully associated with the city in which it originated and its quality levels maintained.”

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