30th April 2007
One of Val Temple's muppet tarts
Baker Val Temple was stunned when barmy bureaucrats forced her to rename her novelty Robin Tarts - because they don't contain the red breasted birds.
Val was also told her popular Paradise Slice would have to be reclassified as it doesn't come from paradise.
And her comical Pig Tarts have also been given the chop by over-zealous Trading Standards officials....they don't contain pork.
Val must now rename her delicious snacks, which have edible, humorous animals on top, as Novelty Cakes in case her customers get confused.
The 60-year-old, who has run her Sgt Bun Bakery in Weymouth, Dorset, for nearly 30 years, today branded the decision as "ridiculous and insulting."
And her bemused customers have suggested she makes a new cake in honour of the petty officials and call is "Nutty as a Fruitcake". Val, 60, said: "It's a joke. It's an insult to the public.
Val Temple and her tarts
"Of course my cakes don't contain pig, robin or come from paradise. Where is paradise anyway?
"It's absolutely ridiculous. What's next - Shepherd's Pie? Where will it all end? "You could apply it to everything. It's so silly."
Val has been making her small, fruity cakes for years and they are always popular with customers. Her Paradise Slice is made from a 120-year-old recipe and includes almonds, sultanas and cherries.
She must now rename is "almond, fruit and nut" slice.
Her Robin and Pig Tarts are made from jams, cream, fondant and a sugar paste is used for the animals on top.
Val said: "I have made the Robin and Pig Tarts because they are something a bit different and fun.
"I have never had any complaints about them before.
"The Trading Standards have been coming here for the last 26 years and only this year have they made this decision.
"A woman officer came in and said they were acting on a complaint over my labelling.
"She said that I must change the names because they didn't contain pork, robin or come from paradise.
"The recipe for the Paradise Slice is by Renshaw's and is 120 years old. The recipe is called Paradise Slice, so that is what I called them.
"I've changed the names now, but customers still call them by their proper names.
"They are now called Novelty Cakes and the Paradise Slice is now Almond, Fruit and Nut Slice.
"It's very sad, but not entirely surprising in today's society.
"If I were to keep the names I would have to write out all the ingredients - and that's just silly."
Val said she has been selling the three types of cake for 16 years.
One customer, James Marper, said:
"It's complete madness. What are they going to ban next - spotted dick? "Who do these officials think they are? Where has common sense gone?
"Val should bake a "nutty as a fruitcake" to mock the small-minded people who have had the nerve to enforce these rules.
"Tax payers are shelling out so much money and to see it being paid to these interfering idiots is extremely disheartening."
Ivan Hancock, Dorset County Council's Trading Standards manager, said his team were only acting in the customers' interest.
He said: "The fact is that food needs to be properly described so that the consumer can tell what it is.
"There is nothing wrong with using other names but it must be accompanied by the true name of the food.
"Consumers have the right to know what is in food."