Cornish flag

The Cornish Pasty

Cornish flag

What is a Proper Cornish Pasty?

Including the Cornish Pasty Association, the EU and PGI status
(see below)

In the world of pasties, and we are talking about the world of commercial pasty makers, the question of what constitutes a genuine Proper Cornish Pasty is very important. 

Before the clearance of the pasty trees, the pasty had evolved into the "Proper Cornish Pasty", only there was no discussion about it because it was all so natural. 

Its a lucky thing that some trees still survive, as shown on the Pasty Tree page. The photograph there shows the tree bearing a good crop of Proper Cornish Pasties.

However, nowadays most pasties are made, not grown. They are made either at home or in the bakery. The ones made like the pasties from the tree are the best you can have. Some forty-odd makers of these pasties have formed the Cornish Pasty Association and this is their logo .....


Cornish Pasty Associaton logo, with permission
Original logo
Reproduced by kind permission of the
Cornish Pasty Association, 2008

New logo after PGI status granted
Reproduced by kind permission of the
Cornish Pasty Association, 2011

Cornish Pasty Association Members


The point about having pride in Proper Cornish Pasties is that it is about having pride in a good quality product. That means using best quality ingredients, locally sourced and following recipes that are handed down the generations  .......  and they have to be made in Cornwall.

A good argument for this was the "Cornish" pasty I had in a pub in East Ham, in the east end of London, when I was a student. It was baked beans in a pasty crust. I fell out with the landlord saying he shouldn't advertise it as a "Cornish" pasty, being Cornish as I am.

The Cornish Pasty Association has a web page that says exactly what a genuine Cornish pasty is, HERE, including the D-shape, with side-crimping, filled with chunky bits of beef or minced beef, turnip (this often means swede in Cornwall), potato and onion, with a peppery seasoning. It also tells you how it should be glazed and baked.

If you want a good recipe for your pasties, see the Pasty Recipe Poem, written by my cousin, Mark, in Hayle. Mind you, it is a family secret, so don't you go telling no-one about'n! 


And there's more - to do with the EU ............

Because the Cornish Pasty is such a famous icon, it is much-imitated. The problem with imitations is that they are often not up to the Cornish standard, thereby harming to the pasty's image.

To protect the reputation of the pasty, the Cornish Pasty Association are campaigning for PGI - Protected Geographical Indicator status within the European Union - see HERE.

PGI status means you can only call white sparkling wine "Champagne" if it comes from the Champagne province in France, or cheese "Parmesan" if it comes from Parmesan in Italy. PGI status was granted for Newcastle Brown Ale in 1998 (also HERE). You can read more about PGI in Wikipedia (see HERE).

The granting of PGI status would mean that if a pasty isn't made in Cornwall then it isn't a Cornish pasty and can't be advertised as such.

Acknowledgement - We are grateful to the Cornish Pasty Association for permission to use their logo on this page. We wish them success in their mission to maintain the integrity of our Cornish pasties. Thanks again from The Cornish Pasty.


Celtic spiral animation