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Type Usually breakfast
Place of origin Ireland
Region or state Waterford

A blaa is a doughy, white bread bun (roll) speciality particularly associated with Waterford, Ireland.[1] Historically, the blaa is also believed to have been made in Kilkenny and Wexford.[2]

The blaa, often misspelled as "bla" or "blah", is usually very soft and covered with white flour. This variety of blaa is more chewy, while the second popular variety has a crusty but tasty exterior. Blaas are sometimes confused with a similar bun, known as a bap, which is often served with less flour. They are square in shape and are most notably identified by the white flour shaken over them before the baking process.

Eaten mainly at breakfast with butter,[citation needed] they are also eaten at other times of the day with a wide variety of fillings, including a type of luncheon meat often referred to as red lead[3] for its distinctive red colour. Corned beef is also a popular filling. The breakfast blaa (egg, bacon rasher and sausage) is more common than the breakfast roll in Waterford. Blaas quickly lose their freshness and are best consumed within a few hours of purchase.


Said to have been introduced to the city at the end of the 17th century by the Huguenots,[4] the word is thought to have been derived from the French word for white, blanc[citation needed]. This theory is disputed because although white flour existed in the 17th century,[5] it was not widely used until mass production of the industrial revolution. Another possibility is a derivation from the French word blé, which is used for certain types of flour, or the Latin root "blandus" which gives the English word "bland" and the Spanish word for soft[citation needed].

On 19 November 2013, the Blaa was awarded Protected Geographical Indication status by the by the European Commission.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Healy, Alison. "Waterford's blaa roll bakers honoured in awards", The Irish Times, Tuesday 18 November 2008.
  2. ^ How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads (Counterpunch) (Irish Edition)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Traditional Waterford Food
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]