As It Happens

The fight for the Forfar Bridie: it's from Forfar or it's fake

Champagne. Camembert. And the Forfar Bridie. Like the French before them, two bakeries in Forfar, Scotland are applying for Protected Food Name status for the Forfar Bridie. A bridie, for those unfamiliar, is a meat-filled pastry.
(McLaren Bakery)

It looks good. It tastes brilliant. And it's worth protecting. The Forfar Bridie Producers Association in Forfar, Scotland has applied for Protected Food Name status for their beloved meat pie. It's not unlike the efforts to protect the names of Champagne, Cambembert cheese and the Cornish Pasty. 

Karen Murray is the owner of McLaren's Bakery in Forfar, and she's the fifth generation in her family to run the shop. She tells As it Happens host, Carol Off, that the bridie is part of Forfar's heritage.

Murray explains why she wants to protect the name of the Forfar Bridie, "history has a lot to do with it, but also getting the right thing has a lot to do with it as well."

A proper Forfar Bridie, aside from being made in Forfar, uses shortcrust pastry, minced meat, onions and seasonings. The bridie is shaped like a horseshoe.

"We always say the story was that it was [originally] made for a bride's meal, and the horseshoe shape for luck. And that's where 'bridie' came from. That's the story we like anyway."

When asked what she thinks when she sees a fake Forfar Bridie in a shop, Murray replies with a laugh: "well, I'll not say what I really think, but it's not very good when you see it and you just think, that doesn't even look like a Forfar Bridie."

Murray says her shop sells hundreds of them every day, and she's hopeful that the pastry will eventually get its protected status.

In 2011, after years of trying, the Cornish Pasty won protected name status. Murray acknowledges it will be long process but hopes for the best.

"We'll see how it goes, but really I've got my fingers crossed that everything goes fine."