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Thread: Lasagna is British not Italian !

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Lasagna is British not Italian !

    BBC News :Britain lays claim to lasagne

    Lasagne is British.

    It's so British the court of Richard II was making it in the 14th Century and most likely serving it up to ravenous knights in oak-panelled banqueting halls.

    The claim has been made by researchers who found the world's oldest cookery book, The Forme of Cury, in the British Museum.

    A spokesman for the Berkeley Castle medieval festival, with whom the experts were working, said: "I defy anyone to disprove it because it appeared in the first cookery book ever written."
    That's where the problem lies. If there had been an older Italian book, would it have made a difference ? It's not because nothing is written that it did not exist. Pointless discussion.

    The recipe book does not mention meat - a staple of a good lasagne.

    And such an early use of tomatoes in food would have had medieval cooks spluttering into their espressos.

    But it does describe making a base of pasta and laying cheese over the top.

    It calls this "loseyns", which is apparently pronounced "lasan", although it fails to mention whether it should be followed with a sweet tiramasu and a glass of Amaretto.
    Tomatoes came from America, so technically tomato lasagna as we know it now could not be made before the 16th century.
    I also thought that pasta was a wheat adaptation of Chinese rice noodles brought back through th Silk Road or Marco Polo in the late middle ages. If so, Chinese could also take the claim.

    But the Italian embassy in London reportedly responded: "Whatever this old dish was called, it was not lasagne as we make it."
    That is certain. But nevertheless interesting that Brits ate lasagna before potatoes. I'd always been wondering what starches Europeans ate apart from bread before 1492.

    In May it finally beat off a challenge by UK supermarket Asda, which had been selling Parma ham that had been sliced and pre-packed in Britain.

    European judges ruled the ham must be packed and sliced in Parma itself to be marketed under its name of origin.

    And last year Parmesan producers won protection from European rivals that had been using their name.

    Authentic Parmesan must come from the banks of the Po.
    I agree about the denomination. I am appalled when I see Japanese, Australian, New Zeland, Canadian or American version of Parmean, Mozzarella or other cheeses than don't tatse anything near the original ones. There are thousands of sorts of cheese in Europe with a unique name for each of them (usually the village, abbey or region where it is made). Why don't they use their own names rather than steal the well-established ones. At best they could write "Parmesan-like XXX cheese". Then, there is not just Parmesan that goes with pasta. Belgians for instance usually use grated Gruyere or Emmenthal on Bolognese sauce and that's also great (if not better).
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    So lasagna is British? Oh well, I am still crazy for it, lol.

    As for parma ham: there will certainly be more brawl between the WTO and the EU in regard to geographical indications:

    At the final press conference Commissioner Franz Fischler said the EU was going to fight at the WTO to find an acceptable solution to the problem of the illegal use of geographical indications by certain companies. After explaining that during the negotiations over the Doha Development Round, the EU had pulled out the stops to ensure EU wines, spirits and other high quality products were not barred from the market by trademark protection scams, he went on to say: ”We are pressing very hard to ensure that our quality wines, spirits and other products are not denied access to markets by trademark protection tricks. It is simply unacceptable for geographical descriptions, for example, to be used as trade marks and thus products named after their true origin to be excluded from the market. For example, Parma ham can be registered as a trade mark in Canada and real Parma ham can then no longer be sold under its real name. The use of geographical indications by unauthorised persons or entities is also detrimental to consumers and legitimate producers.

    More info


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