How to Spot a True Cornish Pasty

This Cornish pasty has joined the ranks of champagne, Parma Ham and Stilton as a protected origin product. In other words, if your pasty isn’t made in Cornwall, then it ain’t a Cornish pasty.

Perfect Pasties

WHAT DOES PROTECTED ORIGIN MEAN?

Basically this is a method to protect the reputation and quality of British regional foods to ensure that no inauthentic or lower standard foods can be produced under that products name. There are three different classifications to mark a food out as protected: Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG).

WHAT IS A GENUINE CORNISH PASTY?

According to the Cornish Pasty Association, the pasty itself must be made in Cornwall, but it can be baked elsewhere. It should have a 'D' shape, with a crimped seam on the side rather than the top. The filling should be made up of no less than 12.5% chunky beef, preferably skirt, swede, potato, onion and a little seasoning. The pastry should be golden, robust enough to retain the shape of the pasty and contain no artificial flavourings.

Let Ann from Ann's Cornish Pasties show you how to shape your pasty:

Ann's Pasties

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

Originally created as a nutritious and portable lunch for tin miners, the Cornish pasty often contained two fillings - meat and potato in one end and fruit in the other. The miners wives would send them off to work with one of these, marked with the man's initials. As the miners hands were covered in poisonous tin and copper dust, the pasties could be held by the crimped crusty corner or 'thick', which was then discarded. Legend has it that another reason to throw the crusty corner away was to satisfy the 'knockers' - mischievous elfish folk who lived in the mines.

As the Cornish mining industry declined the miners were forced to emigrate to other parts of the world, such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and they took their pasty recipe with them.

If we've left you craving pasties, try our traditional recipe here.

SOME OTHER BRITISH PROTECTED ORIGIN FOODS

  • Melton Mowbray pork pies
  • Arbroath Smokies
  • Yorkshire rhubarb
  • Newcastle Brown Ale
  • West Country farmhouse Cheddar cheese
  • Stilton
  • Cornish clotted cream
  • Jersey Royal potatoes