Cornish pasties can only be labeled as such if made in Cornwall, England. ©Tobik/

(Relaxnews) – While shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash and fish and chips may be unofficial national culinary institutions in the UK, the county of Cornwall, England boasts ownership rights on another British favorite, Cornish pasties.

As the location of the 2012 summer Olympics, Great Britain is enjoying the international spotlight and, like every other Games host, is putting its culture and history front and center, including their culinary heritage.

In 2011, the savory pies received Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, also enjoyed by Champagne, Parma Ham, Stilton cheese, Arbroath Smokies and Cornish Clotted Cream.

That means that only pastry makers based in Cornwall who follow traditional cooking methods are entitled to label their pies a Cornish pasty.

Here’s a primer on authentic Cornish pasties:

– Cornish pasties have a distinctive D-shape and are crimped on one side, never on top.

– Fillings are made up of ‘chunky,’ uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5 percent), swede or rutabaga, potato and onion and a light, peppery seasoning.

– The pastry itself should be golden in color, savory and glazed with milk or egg. It should be robust enough to retain its shape throughout the cooking and cooling process without splitting or cracking.

– The pastry is slow-baked to ensure that flavors from the raw ingredients are ‘maximized’ and no flavorings or additives must be used.

– While the pastry can be baked elsewhere, the pie must have been prepared in Cornwall.

Source: Cornish Pasty Association