There’s war in pastry land. Bakers John and Petra Hartog have recently registered the name “skitaart” (ski cake) and are having their lawyers send threatening letters (Dutch) to other bakers who use the same name. A ski cake consists of a “vlaai” (pie) bottom, filled with yellow cream and cherries, and topped with powdered sugar foam. Baker Marco Lakerveld, a competitor from Wijk bij Duurstede, doesn’t worry about the Hartog’s trademark claims. He says he has managed to lay hands on a thirty year old baker’s magazine in which the name “skitaart” was already used.
Meanwhile baker Ruud van Oort, the inventor of the skitaart and the guy who sold his bakery to the Hartogs in 2007, is down in the dumps over this legal fight. He has been making his original for thirty years, but never worried about pie-racy (I so could not stop myself there—sorry!). Van Oort told Bakkerswereld (Baker’s World, Dutch): “This is so sad. I was always very proud that other bakers copied what I had created.”
You have to wonder why the Hartogs are so vehemently throwing away the reputation built by Van Oort. This cake could blow up in their faces in all kinds of interesting ways.