UK’s acclaimed Bramley apple wins EU ‘traditional speciality’ label

Bramley apple

A nice big Bramley apple [Rain Rabbit/Flickr]

The European Commission on Wednesday (29 July) said it would register Britain’s “traditional Bramley apple pie filling” as a protected historical delicacy in the European Union.

The British pie filling is a blend of fresh Bramley apples, sugar, and water. It may optionally contain Bramley apple puree, corn flour, and lemon juice.

The register will put traditional Bramley apple pie filling on a par with Italy’s Mozzarella cheese and Belgium’s lambic beer.

The Bramley apple dates from the 19th century and was first exhibited by London’s Royal Horticultural Society in 1876, the Commission said. In 1883, the National Apple Congress acclaimed the apple as the best suited variety for apple pies.

Ever since, the recipe for traditional Bramley apple pie filling has remained unchanged. The acidic variety is rarely eaten fresh but lends itself well to baking and cooking.

A farm product may be registered as “Traditional Specialities Guaranteed” (TSG) by the EU only if it is produced using traditional raw materials and prepared with traditional methods.

TSG designation boosts farmer revenues as it increases the market value of the products registered, the Commission said.

UK Apples & Pears Ltd, which represents three quarters of British producers, applied for TSG recognition in March, arguing that other pie fillings may contain a mix of apple varieties and artificial preservatives.

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