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Cornish pasties win protected status

22 February 2011

Cornish pasties made in Cornwall and based on a traditional recipe won protected status from the European Commission today.

Authentic Cornish pasties will be stamped with a logo making it clear that they have Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. They must be prepared in Cornwall, but do not have to be baked there.

Protected status gives the Cornish pasty the same standing as Roquefort cheese, French champagne, Jersey Royal potatoes and Newcastle brown ale. Cornish clotted cream is already on the list.

The Cornish Pasty Association (CPA), which campaigned for protected status, said that to qualify for protected status pasties must have the distinctive ‘D’ shape and be crimped at the side, not at the top.

The filling should be made of mince or chunks of beef with swede, potato, onion and a light seasoning and not contain artificial flavourings or additives.

Alan Adler, chairman of the CPA, said the UK lagged far behind countries like France and Italy in protecting regional foods.

“Today’s announcement does not stop other producers from making other types of pasties but they won’t be able to sell them as Cornish,” he said.

A cross-border confrontation with pasty makers in Devon erupted in 2009, when a pasty made by Chunk of Devon won the British pie awards.

The CPA, set up by more than 40 pasty makers, argued that the decision highlighted the need for Cornish pasties to be protected. DEFRA approved the CPA’s application for protected status at the end of 2008.

According to the traditional recipe published on the CPA website, using carrots in a pasty is “sacrilege”.

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