Cornish pasties have finally received protected status under EU law after a nine-year battle, ensuring that only pasties made in Cornwall and following a traditional recipe can be called ‘Cornish pasties’.

The Cornish Pasty Association (CPA) submitted the application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in 2002 to protect the quality and reputation of the product and to ensure that only Cornish bakers who make genuine Cornish pasties can use the denomination when selling and marketing their produce.

David Rodda from the Cornwall Development Company and spokesperson for the CPA said: “Receiving protected status for the Cornish pasty is good news for consumers, but also for the rural economy. By protecting our regional food heritage, we are protecting local jobs. Thousands of people in Cornwall are involved in the pasty industry, from farmers to producers, and it’s important that the product’s quality is protected for future generations.”

Alan Adler, chairman of the CPA, added: “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. Today’s announcement does not stop other producers from making other type of pasties but they won’t be able to sell them as ‘Cornish’.”

Under the new protected status, a genuine Cornish pasty must have a distinctive ‘D’ shape and be crimped on one side, never on top. The texture of the filling should be chunky, made up of minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5%), swede, potato, onion with a light seasoning.

The pastry casing should be golden in colour, savoury, glazed with milk or egg and be robust enough to retain its shape throughout the cooking and cooling process without splitting or cracking. The pasty must be slow-baked and no artificial flavourings or additives must be used. It must also be made in Cornwall.

>>Cornish pasties make progress on PGI status