Protected Traditional Foods of Britain

Traditional food and recipes have been described as playing “an important part of European culture, identity, and heritage” and therefore some have been protected legally and can only be made in a specific geographic location. This gives the food and the dish authenticity and the status of being genuine. In the UK, the most common example of […]

Traditional food and recipes have been described as playing “an important part of European culture, identity, and heritage” and therefore some have been protected legally and can only be made in a specific geographic location. This gives the food and the dish authenticity and the status of being genuine. In the UK, the most common example of such a food is Cornish pasty.

Few traditional foods have stood the test of time as well as the famous Cornish pasty, which is enjoyed by more people today than ever before. Cornish pasty made it into the list of top 80 world foods, the list that was created by Kenwood and named  “The Around the World in 80 Plates”.  Not only there is an actual Cornish Pasty Association, but the traditional recipe is also protected legally by the European Union. So what is the deal here? Is it really that hard to make and does it mean you cannot buy or make this outside a certain area of the UK? Here are the answers:

Firstly, it has to be made within the geographical county of Cornwall. Then, a genuine Cornish pasty must contain:

  • Roughly diced or minced beef
  • Sliced or diced potato
  • Swede (turnip)
  • Onion
  • Seasoning to taste (mainly salt & pepper)

(source: Cornish Pasty Association)

If you are in the UK, you can buy pasties pretty much anywhere. Every day thousands of Cornish pasties are sent all over Britain and beyond, to be sold in food establishments and online. Mostly those are baked and packaged in Cornwall but it can be that they are prepared in Cornwall then freshly baked at the point of sale. As long as the pasty is made in Cornwall, by an approved Cornish pasty maker, you can enjoy it anywhere in the UK.

Can you name another dish or food that is protected? Share with us and other foodies in comments!

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