Finally, after what appears to have been decades of border fighting in the South West, the Cornish Pasty receives the PGI approval to protect it’s origin, authenticity and quality.
The term “Cornish Pasty” has now been awarded the “protected status” by the European Commission. This now means that only pasty products made in Cornwall to a long established recipe can actually be called “Cornish Pasties”. This doesn’t mean that Cornish Pasties have to be baked in Cornwall, they have to be manufactured in the County.
The authenticity of the Cornish Pasty affects many producers in the UK, and this move by the European Commission has provided protection for those who have invested heavily into farming and manufacturing of the Cornish Pasty, providing a real boost to Cornwall and cementing its place in food manufacturing and farming history. The local manufacturers strive to produce the very best product, they are proud of their provenance and wherever possible the ingredients of the Cornish Pasty are farmed locally.
Many other European Countries are passionate about protecting the authenticity and provenance of their produce, with products like French Champagne , Roquefort Cheese and Jersey Potatoes, now Cornish Pasties can be added to the “Protected” portfolio.
We previously posted about the Cornish Pasty Associations efforts to protect the origin and authenticity of the Cornish Pasty back in February 2009, this has been a lengthy but worthwhile process for the region and it’s related industries.
From time to time we are asked “Are Your Cornish Pasties Genuine?” due to the fact that we are based in South Yorkshire, a reasonable question. We are delighted to inform everyone who asks “Officially…Yes!“. Even though we are based in Sheffield, all of our Cornish Pasties ARE manufactured in Cornwall, each week we ship frozen containers to our distribution hub to take this great piece of Cornwall further afield than the M4 Corridor, we believe that the rest of the UK also has a right to taste the Genuine Cornish Pasty too!
Read more about this Landmark Approval below:-
The purpose of the PGI recently applied for by the Cornish Pasty Association is to serve as a Trade Mark for the “Cornish Pasty” as a brand. The trade mark will have to be determined by the true characteristics of the product and the processes through which it goes to become an authentic finished Cornish Pasty from the definitive raw ingredients whence it started.
So what are the true characteristics of a Genuine Cornish Pasty? This extract from the CPA website details the pre-requisites of the product:-
A genuine Cornish pasty has a distinctive ‘D’ shape and is 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 or turnip, potato and onion and a light peppery 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 whole pasty is slow-baked and no flavourings or additives must be used. It must also be made in Cornwall.
A Proper Pasty, as it were, is exactly that all it takes to complete the process is a 45 minute bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 deg until the pastry case turns a beautiful golden colour…only then is it a Genuine Cornish Pasty!
The Cornish Pasty Associations application for the PGI has been very widely supported by the general public and by professional bodies, a recent extract from the CPA website details the following stats relating to the widening support:-
An omnibus survey conducted on September 2007 with over 1,000 participants found that:
- The majority of participants agreed with the Cornish Pasty Association’s PGI application, with considerable support (79%) of the proposal to protect the term ‘Cornish Pasty’.
- It was agreed by over half of those interviewed (62%) that pasties described as Cornish but that are not actually Cornish are deceiving consumers about their origin.
- 64% of all participants stated that if they saw a food product on sale in the supermarket described as being Cornish, they would expect it to be made in Cornwall.
More information about the CPA, its members and the history of the Cornish Pasty is available at www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk