Belgium has added a new protected regional product: Limburg flan.
Limburg flan or "vlaai" receives European PGI label. To obtain that recognition, it needed to meet some strict requirements in terms of baking process, appearance and origin.
After years of lobbying, several bakers from both Belgian and Dutch Limburg are rightly getting their way: Limburg flan now has the coveted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) quality label in its pocket.
The recipe must contain the right ingredients: a yeast dough prepared with butter or margarine, sugar and salt. A historical connection to the region is also mandatory. For example, apples or cherries from Hesbaye orchards are allowed or also apricots, which have been prevalent in the region since Spanish times. Pineapple, on the other hand, is not; that fruit came to Europe only later on. Knubbelkes (crumble), rice pudding and pudding are allowed, whereas whipped cream is not. If it contains ingredients that, according to Europe, do not belong in it, we are not talking about flan, but cake, which, of course, can also be delicious. Furthermore, the diameter of the flan should be between 10 cm and 30 cm, the pie crust should be no more than 1 cm thick, easy to eat out of the hand, never frozen after baking and – very importantly – made in an oven on Limburg territory. The idea is to devour the delicacy in good company.
Previously, a PGI label went to, among others, Brussels grondwitloof (a heritage variety of chicory), Geraardsbergse mattentaart (a small, sweet cake), Poperingse hopscheut (hop shoots), pâté gaumais (a meat pie) and escavèche de Chimay (a cold dish of cooked fish).