Our bid to secure TSG protected EU status for the 'Birmingham Balti' partly depends on finding a 'balti reference' from over 30 years ago. We've got one for late 1984 but need a reference from before March of that year. We know it predates that but need the evidence. So, if anyone has any bright ideas ..............
On the basis that people visiting this site are curryholics, it's also worth a visit to Dan Tombs' excellent site at greatcurryrecipes.com.
The Balti Triangle recently hosted a visit from a budding filmmaker making a film about Balti as part of their University project. A short film Charlotte Armer made for her Filmmaking Practises Module at University of Birmingham about the balti and it's cultural heritage in Birmingham.
An interesting stat was revealed where it seems that people outside Birmingham know more about Balti than the residents. Is it another case of a City's own community not appreciating what they've got ... add to that list the Jewellery Quarter, Custard Factory etc etc. Maybe something that Marketing Birmingham should consider ....
The Birmingham Balti Association's ambitious bid to achieve the European Union's coveted TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) status for the City's (and arguably the Country's) favourite dish has taken another step forward on its culinary journey. Having been steered through the UK objection period, it is now in the hands of Brussels who have six months to deliberate on the application.
Birmingham Balti Association Chairman, Andy Munro, said,'It's been a long hard road since we first drafted the application back in 2011 but we are now very optimistic that we will achieve our goal. Once the EU Commission have deliberated, there is a final 3 months objection period for other EU country's to object if they wish. However, I would like to think that, for example, a country like Greece wouldn't object ... unless, of course, we decided to do a Balti Meat Moussaka!'
What a Curry On!
The results of the 'Capital for Curry' have been announced with Bradford winning again, Glasgow runners up and Wolverhampton a creditable third. Birmingham, as usual, were nowhere ... the difference being that all the others were backed by their local authority, marketing organisations etc. Yet studies show that the estimated economic benefits of winning to a City exceed £1.5m. It's just a shame that our City Fathers and their relations don't really value our 'Curry' offer as they're too busy disappearing up their 'Michelin starred' culinary backsides!
BALTI ON THE CURRICULUM
Part of Birmingham's new vocational education initiative, the Birmingham Baccalaureate, includes instruction in culinary skills. Well known Balti Triangle restaurant Shabab hosted an instruction session for a video which will be used by participating schools.
Andy Munro, Chair of the Birmingham Balti Association said,
'As soon as I read that curry and specifically balti was to be featured, I was determined to see it featured and cooked correctly. The concept of featuring balti was a masterstroke by those who have been developing the initiative. Balti is part of Birmingham's culinary history, it is a truly multi cultural fusion dish and it is a healthy way of cooking taking little longer than a microwaved meal. Hopefully this latter point will encourage youngsters that fresh, tasty and convenient cooking doesn't have to be microwaved!'
BALTI BAKE OFF!
A film crew was recently in Birmingham to film yet another 'Bake Off' competition likely to be televised on ITV in early 2014. Filming took place at award winning Itihaus in the Jewellery Quarter and featured a French bakery, Maison Mayci, from Kings Heath who had reached the semi final of a national competition. Their idea was to fuse their pastry skills with Birmingham's curry heritage to create a balti porkpie. The session was a precursor to their final product and they received advice from the owner and chef of the restaurant and Andy Munro.
"As you would expect the pastry was second to none and the pork used was from a top quality local Tamworth breed. However, we hopefully gave them some good advice on introducing more colour and spice using red chillies, paprika and turmeric to name a few ingredients."