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The Cornish Pasty

Cornish flag

PGI status


The Cornish Pasty is pleased to announce that Tuesday 22nd February 2011 was an historic day in the history of the Cornish pasty: the European Commission granted it PGI - Protected Geographical Indicator status. This means that only pasties made in Cornwall from a traditional recipe can be called "Cornish" pasties.  This has been a nine-year aim of the Cornish Pasty Association.

That this is a significant development can be seen from HERE - a search engine result for the terms <PGI status Cornish pasty>.

The Cornish Pasty Association has a web page that says exactly what a genuine Cornish pasty is, HERE, including the D-shape, with side-crimping, filled with chunky bits of beef or minced beef, turnip (this means swede in Cornwall), potato and onion, with a peppery seasoning. It also tells you how it should be glazed and baked.

Obviously, this is a little peculiar for some pasty-makers who use the top crimp - it is hard to say how these pasties, made traditionally in Cornwall cannot also be called Cornish, they are traditional from one pasty maker in St Ives, Pengenna Pasties, and on The Lizard, Ann Muller: Ann's Pasties, ".......... and you don't get much more "Cornish" than they!"

One aspect of this is that when you buy a "Cornish pasty" from an outlet on a railway station etc. anywhere in the country you can be certain it really is Cornish - not like the "Cornish pasty" I had in a pub in London's East End as a student that turned out to be full of baked beans!

Another aspect is that Devon can proudly market its own Devon pasties which can be every bit as good as Cornish pasties. They have a shared history beginning most probably with tin mining - and tin mining developed in streaming and open-cast works on Dartmoor before they started digging deep into the ground in Cornwall to win the tin. There are other good cooks in England who can also make good pasties, they just can't be marketed as being "Cornish" if they are not actually made in Cornwall.

The protected status means the pasty now has the same standing as Roquefort cheese, French Champagne, Jersey Royal potatoes and Newcastle Brown Ale.

From Wikipedia - Protected Geographical Status:

Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) are geographical indications, or more precisely regimes, within the Protected Geographical Status (PGS) framework[1] defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods. The law (enforced within the EU and being gradually expanded internationally via bilateral agreements of the EU with non-EU countries) ensures that only products genuinely originating in that region are allowed in commerce as such. The legislation came into force in 1992. The purpose of the law is to protect the reputation of the regional foods and eliminate the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products,[2] which may be of inferior quality or of different flavour.

These laws protect the names of wines, cheeses, hams, sausages, olives, beers, Balsamic vinegar and even regional breads, fruits, raw meats and vegetables.

Foods such as Gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Asiago cheese, Camembert de Normandie and Champagne can only be labelled as such if they come from the designated region. To qualify as Roquefort, for example, cheese must be made from milk of a certain breed of sheep, and matured in the natural caves near the town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in the Aveyron region of France, where it is infected with the spores of a fungus (Penicillium roqueforti) that grows in these caves.[3]

This system is similar to Appellation systems throughout the world, such as the Appellation d'origine contrle (AOC) used in France, the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) used in Italy, the Denominao de Origem Controlada (DOC) used in Portugal, and the Denominacin de Origen (DO) system used in Spain. In many cases, the EU PDO/PGI system works parallel with the system used in the specified country, and in some cases is subordinated to the appellation system that was already instituted, particularly with wine, for example, and in France (in particular) with cheese, for example Maroilles (as most others) has both PDO (AOP in French) and AOC classifications, but generally only the AOC classification will be shown.

This is indeed an historic time that we can include in The Cornish Pasty & Pastypaedia.



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