Name-dropping: now it’s turn of Cornish pasty

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SIGNS for “Cornish” pasties could be disappearing from bakery windows across Scarborough following a European Union ruling.

The EU has banned any of the tasty snacks made outside of Cornwall from being called a Cornish pasty.

As well as bringing in a geographical restriction, the union states that any pasties that include carrots and are crimped on the top rather than on the side will be banned from claiming they are the real article.

This ruling sees the end of a nine-year battle by Cornish food manufacturers to win special protection for their traditional product.

It puts the Cornish pasty in a select group of products including champagne, Parma ham, Kentish ale, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Arbroath smokies and Cornish clotted cream.

The announcement has been met with a mixed reaction from bakeries across Scarborough.

Ian Hardie, owner of Scarborough bakery Hardies which has been going for 42 years, said: “It’s not really a problem for us. We’ll just be calling it a traditional pasty.

“I just hope they apply the same rule to other products, such as Wensleydale cheese.”

Spokeswomen from local firms Cooplands and Woodheads said they were currently looking into the situation.

A representative from Thomas the Baker said: “We are quite sympathetic to the ruling, despite the changes we need to make within our bakery. It is important to protect heritage and this is one way of ensuring the history behind the pasty will not be lost.

“We are going to rename our pasties Yorkshire Pasties as all our pasties are already made with locally sourced beef and fresh local vegetables.

“We have heard that many people will be making changes to the shape of their pasties, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Our pasties were not a ‘traditional’ Cornish Pasty shape, but we are embracing the change.”

However some people have criticised the ruling for making life difficult for businesses in an already difficult climate.

Yorkshire MEP Godfrey Bloom said: “I always take the view that anything that comes from the EU is inherently ridiculous.

“I would have thought business people in Scarborough have enough on their plate without silliness from Brussels.”

The Morrisons supermarket chain admitted it would have to rename many of its pasties, which were crimped on the top or made outside of Cornwall.

Sainsbury’s said it also had stocks of pasties which had been made outside the region but promised to adhere to the new rules.

One Cornish pasty maker in Devon, who did not wish to be named in a national news report, said European bureaucrats “could go to hell”.

The dispute between Devon and Cornwall over the origin of the pasty has been a long and bitter one.

Five years ago, a historian claimed that archives in the Devon record office proved that the earliest reference to the pasty linked it with Plymouth.

But Cornwall has always claimed that the pasty was as ancient as its tin mining industry. Workers would take the easy-to-handle snack underground as their only sustenance for the day.

The EU ruling states that a genuine Cornish pasty has to have a distinctive “D” shape and be crimped on the side.

The filling has to be chunky, made up of uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5 per cent), swede, potato and onion with a light seasoning.