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Cornish pasties awarded protected status

Imitators beware tasty European Commission ruling

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Aficionados of the Cornish pasty will in future be assured that their pasty is the real deal, following a European Commission ruling that only pasties prepared in Cornwall in the traditonal way can be labelled "Cornish".

Cornish maiden bearing platter of genuine Cornish pasties. Photo: Cornish Pasty AssociationThe announcement that the pasty has been granted "protected geographical indication" (PGI) marks a great day for the Cornish Pasty Association, which for nine years has battled to protect its product from pretenders pumping out non-traditional imitations "inferior in both quality and taste".

Alan Adler, chairman of the 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 PGI status is the same which protects champagne, Parma ham, Stilton cheese, Arbroath smokies, Cornish clotted cream, and smoked salmon. Bakers across the UK wishing to knock out pasties are at liberty to do so, but labelling them as Cornish is forbidden.

For the record, here's how the Cornish Pasty Association describes the authentic product: "A genuine Cornish pasty has a distinctive 'D' shape and is crimped on one side, never on top. The texture of the filling for the pasty is chunky, made up of uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5%), swede, 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 to ensure that flavours from the raw ingredients are maximised. No flavourings or additives must be used. And, perhaps most importantly, it must also be made in Cornwall." ®

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