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Waterford Blaa, bla or blah (bread of Ireland).jpg
Alternative names bla, blah
Course Usually breakfast
Place of origin Ireland
Region or state Waterford
Main ingredients white flour
Ingredients generally used yeast, sugar, water, salt
Cookbook: Blaa  Media: Blaa

A blaa /blæ/ is a doughy, white bread bun (roll) speciality; particularly associated with Waterford, Ireland.[1] It is currently made in Waterford and County Kilkenny[2][3] and was historically made in Wexford.[4]

12,000 blaas are sold each day;[5] all of which are made by the 4 remaining bakeries producing blaas: Walsh's Bakehouse, Kilmacow Bakery, Barron's and Hickey's.[6]

Blaa's are typically sold in two varieties[citation needed]. The first is usually very soft and covered with white flour; this variety of blaa is more chewy. The second popular variety has a crusty exterior[citation needed]. 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[citation needed] often referred to as red lead.[7] The breakfast blaa (egg, bacon rasher and sausage) is more common than the breakfast roll in Waterford.[citation needed] Blaas quickly lose their freshness and are best consumed within a few hours of purchase.[citation needed]


Said to have been introduced to the city at the end of the 17th century by the Huguenots,[8] 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,[9] 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 European Commission.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Healy, Alison. "Waterford's blaa roll bakers honoured in awards", The Irish Times, Tuesday 18 November 2008.
  2. ^ pixel-industry. "Waterford Blaa - Homepage". 
  3. ^ "Waterford Blaa Specification" (PDF). 
  4. ^ How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads (Counterpunch) (Irish Edition)
  5. ^ (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "red lead". 
  8. ^ "Traditional Waterford Food". 
  9. ^ "Industrial Revolution". Kaslo Sourdough Bakery. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Waterford blaa awarded special status by EU". The Irish Times. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 

External links[edit]