BREAKING NEWS: EU says Cornish pasties can’t contain carrots!

14 Jul
Cornish pasty

D-shaped with pastry edges crimped, since you ask

Big news today in the field of tasty English snacks.

The EU has been asked to protect the status of that delicious potato-and-meat-stuffed pastry, the Cornish pasty.

In future, if the EU agrees, it will have to be made in Cornwall if it is to be called a Cornish pasty.

But, as with all Euro-rules, it means the exact definition of a Cornish pasty needs to be published and that happened today. The snack will also have to conform to certain requirements.

According to this morning’s European Commission document, a Cornish pasty will officially (among other things):

  • Be D-shaped with pastry edges crimped either by hand or mechanically to one side, and never on top
  • Be filled with beef, vegetables and seasonings
  • Have pastry that is either shortcrust, rough puff or puff
  • Have filling which must consist of sliced or diced potato, swede, onion (vegetable content of the pasty must not be less than 25 %), diced or minced beef (meat content of the pasty must not be less than 12.5 %)
  • Here’s the big one – Contain no other types of meat, vegetables, e.g. carrot
  • Filled within Cornwall but then the baking can be done anywhere

Interestingly enough, the document also tells us that “traditionally, in Cornwall ‘swede’ is referred to as ‘turnip’ so the two terms are interchangeable, but the actual ingredient is ‘swede’.”

And, to help those European officials, a little bit of history of the Cornish pasty is provided to support its case:

The shape was designed to made it easy to carry (usually in a pocket) and enabled men working in tin mines to reheat them underground, as well as eat them safely. The crust (crimped edge) was used as a handle which was then discarded due to the high levels of arsenic in many of the tin mines.

Objectors now have six months to send their responses before the EU must officially decide whether to recognise the Cornish Pasty.

Tasty.

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3 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: EU says Cornish pasties can’t contain carrots!”

  1. Eurogoblin July 14, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    About bloody time! The powerful and secretive Cornish pasty lobby has been battling for PGI status for their delicious product for more than a decade! Just reading the official application (online here for anyone interested) makes my stomach rumble. Should point out that anyone can still make and sell pasties with carrots in them – but they’ll now have to label them as “carrot pasties” (or whatever).

  2. Kevin July 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Its a good thing they cleared up what a ‘swede’ is. We only use ‘turnip’ in Ireland and I was beginning to think you uncivilized Brits were cannibals!

  3. Linda_Margaret July 18, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    Food is definitely one of the EU’s favourite things to lobby about. There should be a cooking show/blog on EU-approved recipes.

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