Cornish pasty joins Europe's protected list

Cornish pasties, the packed lunches that came into their own as meals for tin and copper miners in the 17th century, can now only be made in Cornwall.

Coming from anywhere else makes them mere pasties. The ruling by the European Commission ends a nine-year campaign for the Cornish pastie to be recognised as one of more than 1,000 items of food that can only be made in the place they are named after. They join Cornish clotted cream, Melton Mowbray pork pies, champagne and Parma ham on the select list.

"It's a great day for Cornwall and a great day for Cornish pasties," said Julie Girling, the Conservative MEP for the South West.

"Local food producers have been fighting for this day for nine years and now at least their products have the protection they deserve." The EU's idea of an authentic pasty from Cornwall is one in the traditional shape, crimped on one side.

The contents are uncooked minced or chunks of beef, swede, potato and onion "with a light seasoning". The European Commission said that giving items Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status can "create value, increase demand, avoid use of cheap raw material, secure local jobs and so contribute to agricultural and rural economy". The rules affect products such as certain cheeses, hams, meats, fruits and vegetables.

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