For obvious reasons, great food makes people very proud. If you’ve created something that the rest of the world loves, you’re more than justified in getting defensive when fools try to mess around with it. Given the nature of the ultra competitive modern food industry, nefarious businesses are always quick to try and pass off someone else’s work as their own in order to make a buck. Fortunately for some national treasures, help is at hand. These are the recipes that can’t be touched.
It’s little surprise that the French can be overbearing when it comes to their produce. If our food was as good, we'd probably feel the same way. As perhaps the most fiercely protected drink in the world, champagne is no exception to this rule. Numerous trade agreements, international laws and even peace treaties specify that for a product to be called ‘champagne’, it must have been produced in the Champagne region of France and prepared using the traditional méthode champenoise, where the last stage of fermentation occurs in the bottle itself.
Despite its global popularity, tequila comes from a relatively tiny region. Almost all of the world’s supply is produced in the state of Jalisco, where farmers have been making the spirit for centuries. Legally speaking, tequila must contain 51% blue agave with an alcohol content of at least 31%. Often imitated but rarely bettered, there’s more to this drink than meets the eye.
3. Clotted Cream
As anyone who has had a proper Cornish cream tea will agree, there are few things better than a healthy dollop of rich clotted cream. Indulgently smooth and luxurious, clotted cream is as synonymous with the South West as pasties as cider, so woe betide anyone else who tries to make it. According to European law, for anything to be called “clotted cream”, it has to have been produced in Cornwall and have at least 55% fat content. Thankfully, this means that clotted cream can never be a healthy option.
4. Darjeeling Tea
The tea industry is astonishingly complex and intricate. Though you could be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing beyond English breakfast, connoisseurs will be quick to point out that there’s a whole world of flavour to discover. For many, Indian Darjeeling tea is as good as it gets. Only grown in 87 selected gardens in the foothills of the Himalayas, tea leaves are picked from plants that are, in some cases, centuries old. As decreed by the scary sounding Tea Board of India, if it doesn’t come from one of these gardens, it can’t be Darjeeling.
Brazil’s national drink is a favourite of cocktail fans around the world. However, despite its association with party culture, there’s nothing relaxed about the recipe. As ratified by both Brazilian state law and the International Association of Bartenders, a drink can only be called caipirinha is made to strict guidelines - half a lime cut into four wedges, two teaspoons of sugar and 50ml (1.8 fl oz) of cachaça. Just as importantly, the drink must always served on the rocks.
6. Neapolitan Pizza
With the huge numbers of knock off pizzerias scattered across the world, it’s easy to assume that anyone can get into the pizza game. However, if you want to make the real thing, you must fulfill a very strict criteria. According to the international regulations stipulated by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, authentic pizzas must be prepared by hand, be made from specific flour, be burn-free with a raised crust and contain only ingredients from the Campania region of Italy. This certainly explains why most Italians despise Dominos.
Many people might think there’s little harm in messing around with a tried and tested recipe. After all, if all we did was cook the same things in exactly the same way over and over again, food would never go anywhere. However, as this list proves, some food is special. It may make it more awkward for some people, but that’s all the more reason to look after it.