EVERYONE WHO MAKES A PASTY HAS THEIR OWN RECIPE, OFTEN HANDED DOWN FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION, BUT TO CALL IT A GENUINE CORNISH PASTY, HERE’S WHAT’S INVOLVED
ON THE INSIDE
Just good, wholesome ingredients, put together with love and care
No meat other than beef, and no vegetables apart from those listed can be used in the filling. There must be at least 12.5% beef and 25% vegetables in the whole pasty. All the ingredients must be uncooked when the pasty is assembled and then slowly baked to develop all that famous Cornish pasty taste and succulence.
ON THE OUTSIDE
The pastry can be shortcrust, rough puff or puff, but it has to be savoury and able to withstand baking and handling without breaking. Pasties went down the mines, across the fields and out to sea, so they had to be up to the job. It can be glazed with egg, or milk, or both, to give the finished pasty its wonderful golden colour.
Here’s where the pasty comes into its own. Once it’s assembled, the edges are sealed by crimping them to one side, creating the characteristic Cornish pasty shape. If it’s not crimped, it’s not Cornish.
WHERE WAS IT BORN?
Any product sold using the Cornish pasty name must be produced west of the Tamar, in the wonderful county of Cornwall.
Since 1993, The European Union (EU) has provided a framework that gives legal protection for named regional food products against imitation across the EU.
This framework is important because it aims to protect and promote regional food products and rural economies that can become vulnerable as the EU expands and regional markets move to national and international supply chains.
A Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) is one of three European designations created to protect regional foods that have a specific quality, reputation or other characteristics attributable to that area. It acts like a Trade Mark or ‘Appellation Controllee’ and stops manufacturers from outside a region copying a regional product and selling it as that regional product.
PGI stands for Protected Geographical Indication. It’s a European Union framework that gives legal protection to the name Cornish Pasty and stops inferior products being passed off as genuine Cornish pasties.
A genuine Cornish pasty must only contain:
The ingredients must be uncooked when the pasty is assembled.
The pastry must be savoury and can be shortcrust, puff or rough puff and must hold all ingredients through cooking and handling without cracking or breaking.
The pasty must be crimped into a D shape, with the crimp towards one side, and glazed with milk, egg or both, before being slowly baked to combine and release all the lovely flaovurs.
PGI status marks Cornish pasties out as a quality product that the customer can rely on to meet the specified method of making laid down by law. When people see the PGI logo on a Cornish pasty, they know they’re getting the real thing.
Definitely! Every day thousands of Cornish pasties are sent all over Britain and beyond, to be sold in shops, supermarkets, cafes, pubs and concessions. Many pasty producers also sell them online. Sometimes these are baked and packaged in Cornwall and sometimes they are prepared in Cornwall then freshly baked at their final destination. As long as the pasty is made in Cornwall, by an approved Cornish pasty producer, you can enjoy it wherever you are.
Any product sold using the protected Cornish pasty name needs to be verified. Products and production methods are therefore audited by an approved external body. After successfully passing this audit, a producer can use the protected name. All producers are re-audited periodically to ensure they are still producing genuine Cornish pasties in accordance with the PGI specification.
No you don’t. You can be audited by one of the approved bodies independently. However, the CPA membership fee includes the audit fee, which makes it a much better value option for Cornwall’s many smaller producers.
Of course CPA members have access to all the other benefits of being part of the Cornish pasty family of producers.
Look for the PGI logo in the shop, on the labelling, or on the packaging. All genuine Cornish pasties should bear this, along with a number beginning with the letters CP that enables the CPA to identify the producer. Pasties made by CPA members may also carry the CPA’s certification mark. If in doubt, ask where the pasties came from and you can always check it out with us.
We’re here to help with as much as possible. We deal with calls, letters and emails from all over the world asking about Cornish pasties. We can point you in the direction of other sources of information and answer most questions about pasties – apart from – who makes the best one!!
Phone: 01872 865101
Write: Cornish Pasty Association
c/o Cornwall Food & Drink Ltd
Chapel View Farm, Coombe Lane, Bissoe, Truro TR4 8RE