Cornish Pasty Copyright

The Guardian 22nd February 2011

Cornish pasty wins protected status from European commission

Only pasties made in Cornwall to the traditional recipe can be labelled ‘Cornish pasties’ after a ruling from Brussels

Tuesday 22 February 2011 13.58 GMT
Cornish pasty Cornish pasties should be a ‘D’ shape and crimped on the side, never on top, says the Cornish Pasty Association The Cornish pasty has become a protected food following a long campaign to prevent it being copied by imitators.

Only pasties prepared in Cornwall and following the traditional recipe can now be described as Cornish after the European commission awarded the dish “protected geographical indication” (PGI) status. Authentic pasties can still be finally baked elsewhere in Britain.

Campaigners celebrated the decision, saying it was important for the local economy – thousands of jobs are involved in the pasty industry – as well as for consumers.

Alan Adler, chairman of the Cornish Pasty Association, said: “By guaranteeing the quality of the Cornish pasty, we are helping to protect our British food legacy. We lag far behind other European countries like France and Italy, that have hundreds of food products protected, and it’s important that we value our foods just as much.”

The announcement does not stop other producers from making other type of pasties but they won’t be able to sell them as ‘Cornish'”.

The association said a genuine Cornish pasty had a distinctive “D” shape and was crimped on one side, never on top.

“The texture of the filling is chunky, made up of uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5%), swede, potato, and onion with a light seasoning. The pastry casing is golden in colour, savoury, glazed with milk or egg and robust enough to retain its shape throughout the cooking and cooling process without splitting or cracking. The pasty is slow-baked and no artificial flavourings or additives must be used.”

The PGI is one of three European designations used to protect local foods, such as Gorgonzola, Parmesan-Reggiano cheese and Champagne. There are 42 other British protected products including Cornish clotted cream, Melton Mowbray pork pies and Arbroath smokies.    

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