Only One Town Is Allowed To Make This Traditional Irish Bread

Regional claim over certain dishes is strong around the U.S. and across the globe, too. If you've ever had a Philly cheesesteak in the city of brotherly love or a slice from the best pizza place in New York, you know the pride certain cities have over a signature dish. But unlike pizza and cheesesteaks, which can be found all over the country at varying levels of authenticity and deliciousness, some foods can only come from a specific place to live up to, and be called by, their name.

Take champagne, for example. As Food and Wine reports, all champagne is sparkling wine, but in order to claim the name "champagne," the sparkling wine must be produced in the Champagne region of France under strict rules and regulations. And authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese can only be made in the Emilia Romagna region of Northern Italy (via Insider). The same goes for the traditional Irish bread, blaa.

Blaa bread can only be made in Waterford

The circular roll, called blaa, is produced in Waterford, Ireland, which is the only region allowed to bake it. Bigger Bolder Baking describes blaa as a floury bread roll similar to a hamburger bun and notes its specific square-ish shape that tends to happen when bakers place them close together, as they bake into each other.

Brought to the region in the 1600s by French refugees, blaa has a Protected Geographical Indication, just like champagne does, meaning it can only be true blaa if it's made in Waterford (via MSN). It's believed that a Huguenot, a protestant refugee of the 17th century, opened a bakery in Waterford in 1702 and the blaa was born out of unused portions of bread dough (per Walsh's Bakehouse). 

Because of their French origin, some believe that the name comes from the old French words for either flour or white, which is unsurprising given the rolls are a version of white bread. Per MSN, town locals enjoy a blaa combined with the likes of Irish butter, ham, eggs, or black pudding, among others things. Today, Waterford residents eat about 12,000 blaa rolls each day, which is quite astounding considering Savor the Flavor reports that there are only four bakeries that are certified to make them.