Food lesson for the day: Broasted is a trademarked word. Who knew?
Apparently not the Forgy brothers, who just opened Block & Larder, which features "broasted rabbit" on its menu. But even though that rabbit is cooked in a pressure fryer built by the Broaster Company of Beloit, Wisconsin, you can't call it "broasted." Delicious, yes. But not broasted.
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We learned this after Mark Antonation's recent story about about Block & Larder inspired this response:
We have ready your article concerning the Block & Larder restaurant in Denver. CO. We must inform you that the terms "broaster" and "broasted" are wholly owned trademarks of Broaster Company. Usage of these terms, and similar, are only allowed under license from Broaster Company. We do realize that sometimes such infringement is accidental and we ask that you simply revise the story to remove the term "broasting" (or similar) from the article to avoid any trade confusion. Thank you for your understanding and if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. Chad Vendette Director of Marketing Broaster Company www.broaster.com
Since we've seen many references to broasted chicken at restaurants across the West, we took Vendette up on his offer and called him to learn more.
Turns out that the founder of the Broaster Company, L.A.M. Phalen, was an inventor who liked fried chicken, and in his quest to find a better way to make chicken, he invented a pressure fryer that he named a "Broaster." That was back in 1954; sixty years later, the Broaster Company has licensed trademark agreements with more than 5,000 operators across the country who have Broasters. But having a Broaster -- and Block & Larder does -- does not necessarily allow a restaurant to call food prepared in it "broasted," says Vendette. You have to prepare it the way the company wants you to, using the correct company products.
And although he says he admires the "enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit" of the brothers behind Block & Larder, who also own Freshcraft, there's no agreement in place allowing them to call a dish "broasted rabbit saddle." For starters, rabbit is "not one of our products," Vendette says. (You can read more about the company's products -- including Genuine Broaster Chicken -- broaster.com.
Vendette says he sends out a lot of letters -- basically, whenever a Google alert lets him know that "broasted" might have been misused. (And yes, he sent one to Block & Larder, too.) "It's kind of like Kleenex," he says. "We find very few instances of willful infringement -- people consider it a generic term.
For the record, broasting is basically deep-frying under pressure -- and in a Broaster. "Yep, we have a Broaster," Jason Forgy had told Mark Antonation. "The first place Lucas worked, he had to run the Broaster."
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Now his brother might want to run for a dictionary.