This little PGI went ... all the way to the European Commission

Left in the oven for too long, Cornish
Pasties can become quite volatile
The IPKat does not normally disturb the peace of this zone of the blogosphere with news of the grant of protected legal status to geographical indications; he leaves that task to the MARQUES Class 46 weblog, which has broken the news of fresh GI Regulations at regular intervals over the past couple of years. However, he has just heard the news (which is a good deal fresher than the last Cornish Pasty he sampled) that the designation CORNISH PASTY has today received Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status by means of a Commission Regulation which has not yet been published online.  The Cornish Pasty Association (CPA), which has been campaigning for PGI status for the past nine years, is ecstatic.  According to Sky,
"The CPA says a Cornish pasty is characterised by its "distinctive 'D' shape" and by "being crimped on one side, never on top". 
The filling should be chunky with no less than 12.5% meat, potato, swede, onion and a light seasoning. 
As for the pastry, the casing must be "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". 
Britain now has 43 protected products, with Cornish Clotted Cream, Melton Mowbray pork pies and Arbroath Smokies among the others".
This Kat has spent his entire adult life using the term "Cornish pasty" as a generic term and will not find it easy to adjust to life under the new regime.  What, he wonders, is the new generic term for a substance which in the past has been so termed but has now been excluded?

More on Cornish pasties here
Web definitions of Cornish pasty here and here
Cornish pasty recipes here, here, here, here and here
1984 Newspeak here
This little PGI went ... all the way to the European Commission This little PGI went ... all the way to the European Commission Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. At risk of being the one that doesn't get the joke..

    The generic bit is "pasty", the added "Cornish" describes the sort of pasty it is (in this case one from Cornwall, made in a specific way with particular ingredients).

    Think Parma and ham if you find the concept tricky...

  2. @Anonymous: I wasn't thinking Parma and ham, but rather Yorkshire and pudding.

  3. When the Cornish Pasty reference to the European Commission was made, a year or two ago I think, the BBC News coverage made me shout at a TV in the window of Dixons...

    The rolling headlines declared:
    'Cornish Pasty to be trademarked'
    and 'Legislation will prevent others from copying the recipe'


  4. Not to be confused with "pasties"!

  5. Over the years I have eaten, or part eaten, a number of so-called Cornish Pasties. Those obtained in Cornwall (Kernow) and Devon were by far the best. I obtained the recipe from a Cornish neighbour and have made them myself satisfactorily. One problem was that Cornish cooks call swede turnip. The alternative term Tiddy Oggi does not seem to be protected yet. According to a Cornish speaker I know (one of the 600 plus) this term is not Cornish.

  6. Earlier anonymous is referring to the US meaning of pasties, which should not be eaten.

  7. In Zambia, it'd just be called a "meat pie." Will that work for a generic name? Or is there already something else with that name in Britian?

  8. Ooh no!

    Meat pie = meat in gravy in pastry
    Cornish pasty = dry meat and veg lumps (potato and swede) in different type of pastry with different shape
    Bridie = somewhere in between (no potato; Scottish)

  9. When I first arrived in Britain from my little Dominion, I was very much surprised that the mother country had her own version of the famous Canadian cheddar, and even named a place after it. Shocking, really.


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