Cornish pasties (note to Americans: nothing to do with nipple ornaments) are being considered by the EU. There has been an application for Protected Geographical Indication to request that only Cornish pasties made in Cornwall and to the traditional recipe, ingredients and manner are called Cornish pasties. It is not the EU, however, that defines a Cornish pasty, but the Cornish Pasty Association.
The Euromyths site now has a warning that the allegedly correct recipe is not, contrary to stories in the UK national press, dictated by the EU:
Contrary to news reports in the national press, the European Commission does not dictate ingredients or names of ingredients for products seeking EU quality recognition.
Products from the UK looking to get protected status prepare their applications stipulating the criteria, description and recipe of their food products. The EC evaluates the applications once they are revised by Defra. The EC provides the final approval on any particular product.
In the case of Cornish pasties, it was The Cornish Pasty Association who dictated the recipe and ingredients for the genuine Cornish Pasty. The Association has applied for Protected Geographical Indication to request that only Cornish pasties made in Cornwall and to the traditional recipe, ingredients and manner are called Cornish pasties.
A Google search soon reveals what they are talking about. BBC ‘Bogus “Cornish” pasties face ban’ (this one probably OK), ‘EU says Cornish pasties can’t contain carrots …’ (oohbrussels.wordpress.com), ‘Turnip or swede? Brussels rules on ingredients of Cornish pasty …’
On August 19, the Daily Telegraph reported on The turnips of Brussels, asking what is the difference between a turnip and a swede. Apparently the Cornish call swedes turnips:
It has proved one of the great culinary conundrums: what is the difference between a turnip and a swede? They are both members of the cabbage family, but the former is a small, white astringent vegetable, while the latter is large, yellowy-orange and sweeter-tasting. They should not be that difficult to tell apart. However, just to confuse matters, the Scots call swedes “neeps”, and the Cornish also insist that they are filling their pasties with turnips, when in fact they are swedes.
Who cares? Well, the European Commission does, because it needs to know the precise ingredients of the pasty in order to give it protected status. For it to be a genuine Cornish pasty, it must contain only one of these vegetables, or the wrath of Brussels will descend on some hapless cook. So listen up, this is very important: the turnip, for the purposes of the pasty, is a swede. Or is it the other way round?
For some sense, see Tabloid Watch.