This cherished treasure of the far west of England has achieved special status.
The European commission ruled yesterday that the Cornish Pasty has won Protected Geographical Status or PGS; in other words, it’s officially Pretty Good Stuff!
The EU ruling states that a genuine Cornish pasty has to have a distinctive “D” shape, and be crimped on one side, not on the top.
“The texture of the filling is chunky, made up of uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5%), swede, potato, and onion with a light seasoning.” Not good for type two-ers!
I know something about this great local delicacy. I spent an entire morning’s filming inside the coach that completed Ross Poldark’s return from the American War, the first scene of the series, having the intricacies of pasty making explained to me, between takes, by a delightful lady extra called Elizabeth Coad.
I also learned from a former miner the reason these beauties have an indented ridge over the top. Apparently during a day’s work at the tin or copper face, often two to three thousand feet below the surface, a miner’s fingers would become impregnated with poison from the metal and the ridge of pastry was what he held the pasty by, to be discarded afterwards. The pasties often contained a two course meal–the meat and potato in one half and apple in the other! Miners used to leave a small portion of their pasties down the mine after their shift for the ghosts of old miners, the Knockers they called them.