Way back in 2009 we wrote an article, titled “Battle of the Balti“, which was about Birmingham city council investigating whether it could trademark the word “balti”.
The Birmingham claim to the Balti name is founded on the assertion that the first balti curry was made in Birmingham by a Pakistani immigrant in 1997.
The balti became a firm favourite in the Balti Triangle (an area of Birmingham around Sparkbrook, Moseley and Balsall Heath).
And there are lots of curry houses all over the UK that have a balti dish on the menu.
We haven’t of any progress of this trademark claim but now we hear of a new, similar, application for name protection by an organisation called the Birmingham Balti Association (BBA), The BBA has applied to the EU Protected Food Names scheme so that “Birmingham Balti” gets Traditional Speciality Guaranteed Status (the curry Focus Team has debated the term “traditional” in relation to something that has been in existence since 1977 – a mere 35 years – but the debate was going nowhere and was abandoned after the decision was made to go to our local curry house for a balti – much better to eat good food instead of talking about it).
If the Birmingham Balti gets EU Traditional Guaranteed Status then curry houses that make baltis will be liable for an annual inspection to make sure that the balti curry making rules are followed (presumably the BBA will get to do this).
So we wait to see if the Birmingham Balti gets the same name protection as Cornish pasties and Melton Mowbray pork pies.