Defining Moment In Cornish Pasty History

Plymouth Herald, July 27th, 2011

CORNISH pasty makers and vendors have got a tasty result – from now on only pasties made in Cornwall can claim to be ‘Cornish pasties’, writes Tristan Nichols. It follows a decision by the European Commission which was rubber-stamped in February. Yesterday marked the first day of the status being formally adopted. It ends a nine-year fight for special recognition and ranks Cornish pasties alongside regional favourites such as Arbroath Smokies, Cornish clotted cream and Melton Mowbray pork pies. It means that non-Cornish makers of ‘Cornish’ pasties will now have to drop the word ‘Cornish’ or be in breach of place-of-origin food rules introduced in 1992.

Peter Ackerman, owner of the Mutley branch of the Cornish Oggy Oggy Pasty Company, welcomed the status. “It’s a great thing,” he said. “We’ve always been told you cannot call a pasty a pasty unless it’s from Cornwall, and a Cornish pasty has got to be hand-crimped. “We pay transportation costs to take the Cornish-made pasties all over the country. It’s only right they have the status. “The Cornish pasty is very unique. It’s a brand name. Anything which gives the product more stability has got to be a good thing.”

Nigel Eadie, co-owner of Plymouth’s newest pasty shop – The Original Pasty House – said: “I think it’s great news because it stops people trying to imitate what is a pretty iconic product.” “It should be given status. Ours are produced in Bodmin and transported up and we are rightly proud of them.” Phil Abbot, a director of Plymouth’s Ivor Dewdney Pasties, said he can understand why the Cornish Pasty Association wanted the ‘Cornish pasty’ to be recognised in this way. But he argued that maybe it should have taken further steps. “If it’s good for Cornwall’s economy then it has got to be a good thing, but you have to ask why they didn’t also insist on having the ingredients being sourced from the county,” he said. “That would make more sense.” Phil, whose grandfather Ivor started the business 76 years ago, added: “It won’t make much different to us as everyone knows us as ‘Ivor Dewdneys’. “We will have to change our bags because it does state ‘Cornish’ on them. “It’s been on the bags for 76 years. Although Ivor lived in Plymouth he was half Cornish, so he didn’t see the harm in saying they were ‘Cornish’ – even though they were made in Plymouth.”

Julie Girling, one of three Conservative MEPs for the South West, said: “It is a big day for Cornish pasties. Local producers have been fighting for this day for many years and we’ve finally made it. “Now Cornish pasties are where they deserve to be – on a par with Champagne and Parma ham. “There’s no better way to celebrate than to enjoy one of Cornwall’s finest, so bon appétit.”

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