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Ffestiniog
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=903210

Looks like Birmingham is trying to gain special protection for the Balti, which it is claimed, was invented there.

Should Liverpool do the same for Scouse? Sure, it may have been based on something from Scandinavia, but how similar is the modern version to what was had before exactly? And also, Scouse is a unique name, even if derived from another word. Has it always been eaten with beet root?

I imagine there are wide variations in the production of balti dishes, and there is probably an authentic, Asian origin for it, so why shouldn't the same be done with scouse? It would get the area some publicity and maybe even create an export industry and something for tourists to have on visits.

I have already seen it being served in eateries outside of Merseyside; but was it made the proper way? If the council don't leave it too long, it won't look so much like they are copying Birmingham CC.

:eat:
 

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Ffestiniog
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Imagine the Scouse dish becoming world famous the way champagne is! Brilliant for the area's international profile and cultural message. And imagine all of the jobs being created, making scouse for export; M&S microwave meals, airline food, licenced scouse restaurants in the USA and Japan, etc.

It just takes a bit of vision and entrepreneurial spirit!

:banana:
 

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^^

You might be putting the cart before the horse there. Melton Mowbray pies, Parma Ham, and other protected items, gained their protected status after they became extremely popular food items, and were in danger of being tarnished by anyone and everyone trading on their popularity. In short, they didn't get protected status in order to become popular, which would be the case if we tried to get Scouse protected.

Besides, if something needs to be protected, by definition, it is in danger. But is Scouse actually in danger? Is some company trying to make money off the back of it's name? Not that I'm aware of. Is Scouse, in danger of someone making a cheap knock-off thereby tarnishing its name? Nope. In contrast to Balti, which has spread far and wide from Birmingham, I haven't seen any evidence of Scouse spreading outside the local area. and thus I don't think it is in any danger, and doesn't need protecting.

but was it made the proper way?
That's a problem in a nutshell right there. What is the 'proper' way. Scouse is one of those dishes that everyone has their own take on. Yes the basic ingredients may be broadly similar, but everything else varies from person to person. I doubt you'd ever get a consensus of opinion on what is the proper way.

I like the way you are thinking outside the box in terms of ways to market the city, and get the Liverpool name out there (we could do with some of that down at the town hall) I'm just not sure this is it. :)
 

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Ffestiniog
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fair comments Chris.

But I'm sure some of the things you have said apply equally to Balti. In the first place, it probably has Asian origins, and there must be loads of ways of making it even within Birmingham. Plus, it has been made outside Birmingham for years.

I honestly can see Scouse becoming more popular than it is; I have already seen it being sold in different parts of the country, and possibly once when I was abroad. I'm not claiming that it is very common, but I have noticed it a bit over the last 12 months, maybe it has been helped by Capital of Culture, and maybe people seeing a novelty value in eating the cuisine of scouser people. Also, it is just good "scran", regardless of the variations in style you inevitably get.

I'm not so sure about the cart before the horse comment. Just because other areas have used it in a belated fashion to protect something they value, why shouldn't Liverpool USE it to make something more popular than it already is? If nothing else, it would raise the profile of something quinetessentially, well, scouse! Not many places have their own dish, so there is kudos.

Just some thoughts. :)

I was going to start a similar discussion on the Manchester forum about Eccles cakes; they appear to have had protection but now lost it (I think). Not sure why; it all seems a bit arbitrary, so if money can be made and image improved, why not try?
 

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It is a regular debate as to what makes the best scouse and what ingredients are the traditional ones. If we cannot determine that then how can we protect its quality and authenticity? More to the point, why would we want to?
 

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I honestly can see Scouse becoming more popular than it is; I have already seen it being sold in different parts of the country, and possibly once when I was abroad. I'm not claiming that it is very common, but I have noticed it a bit over the last 12 months, maybe it has been helped by Capital of Culture, and maybe people seeing a novelty value in eating the cuisine of scouser people. Also, it is just good "scran", regardless of the variations in style you inevitably get.
You've got me thinking now. Part of me is saying we should keep in mind what Scouse actually is - a somewhat basic stew - and not get ahead of ourselves. Another part of me is saying, well Wensleysdale cheese is effectively just cheese made in a certain area, with the same rules applying for the other protected foods, thus why shouldn't what is just a stew hailing from a particular area not become protected? I think the issue of whether it is actually in danger would still prove to be something a road-block, but at least in terms of a food unique to a geographic area, we may have a claim.

I'm not so sure about the cart before the horse comment. Just because other areas have used it in a belated fashion to protect something they value, why shouldn't Liverpool USE it to make something more popular than it already is? If nothing else, it would raise the profile of something quinetessentially, well, scouse! Not many places have their own dish, so there is kudos.
But would Scouse be granted protected status in order for us to exploit that 'claim to fame'? As you note, the rules regarding what gains and keeps protected status could be clearer, so maybe it would?
 

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Ffestiniog
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You've got me thinking now. Part of me is saying we should keep in mind what Scouse actually is - a somewhat basic stew - and not get ahead of ourselves. Another part of me is saying, well Wensleysdale cheese is effectively just cheese made in a certain area, with the same rules applying for the other protected foods, thus why shouldn't what is just a stew hailing from a particular area not become protected? I think the issue of whether it is actually in danger would still prove to be something a road-block, but at least in terms of a food unique to a geographic area, we may have a claim.
:)

But would Scouse be granted protected status in order for us to exploit that 'claim to fame'? As you note, the rules regarding what gains and keeps protected status could be clearer, so maybe it would?
Maybe. In truth, I don't really know much about it at all, but based on other things that are protected, I don't see why not. After all, I'm sure the makers of that cheese, before it was protected, could have argued about whether there should be 17% cow's milk, or 17.3%.. maybe they establish a range of what is acceptable. Probably there are officials who get involved to formalise things and to establish an agreed, specific product.

I think how it could be achieved with scouse is to take a panel of, say, ten people who make it. Five of them could be home cooks, whilst maybe the others could be people who produce commercially in the city centre. Some historical records may also come in useful (maybe there are old books that give a clear recipe.) They could then maybe agree to a range of acceptable ingredients to define the 'official' version of scouse. Obviously, people would continue to make their own how they choose, but for commercial purposes, there could be a defined way of making it, which must be adhered to to allow use of the name "scouse", which would then be exlusively produced in Liverpool.

Maybe 10 people could cook their version and members of the public could vote which one they prefer, with the winner becoming the official version?

:dunno:

If nothing else, it would've been an excellent bit of PR, but I guess Birmingham took the initiative first on that one. Beats annoying initiatives like changing street names to make them more PC, and creating gay quarters about 20 years after everybody else.
 

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I like the idea of trying to gain special protection simply for publicity, whether it gets special protection or not I couldn't care less, but a bit of publicity wouldn't go amiss.
 

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Ffestiniog
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Apparently Napoli tried to have "pizza" protected, according to somebody in the Skybar. I guess they failed, but that is far more absurd than Liverpool trying to protect scouse.
 

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I like the idea of trying to gain special protection simply for publicity, whether it gets special protection or not I couldn't care less, but a bit of publicity wouldn't go amiss.
Nah. The only publicity it would generate would be 'What a bunch of wankers?' :)




For some unaccountable reason this idea really appalls me!
 

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I've always been prejudiced against Scouse after the stodgy stew bearing that name we got served up at school. Still, properly cooked it can be OK. Not particularly world beating though is it? Perhaps we need to invent a few more interesting dishes.
 
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