I may have bought this brand new, pristine tea towel two days ago, but it was from a Charity Shop and it must be at least thirty years aol, if not older. It is a Clive Mayor design; he used to design a lot of tea towels in this style. My Yorkshire Pudding tea towel is one of his. Actually, the Charity Shop had two different Cornish Pasty recipe tea towels but I restricted myself to this one because of the designer. I have been wanting to expand the Recipe Collection in the virtualteatowelmuseum.com so this was a good excuse, I could justify two withthe same recipe.
The Cornish Pasty has had Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, since 2011, from the European Union (I wonder what happens to this once we have Brexited). The PGI status means that no pasty can call itself a Cornish Pasty unless it was prepared in Cornwall (it doesn’t have to have been baked in Cornwall, nor do the ingredients have to have come from Cornwall). The ingredients have to be beef, cut in chunks, onion, swede (turnip as it is called in Cornwall), potato and light seasoning of salt and pepper. PGI status determines that the pasty has to be shaped as a ‘D’, crimped on one side, not on the top. This tea towel was designed long before PGI status and therefore does not conform to today’s standards of a Cornish Pasty. Nice tea towel, though.
The Cornish Pasty today amounts to 6% of Cornwall’s food economy!
I have two memories, from the past, of a Cornish Pasty, long before PGI status. Firstly, Mrs Atkins, who used to look after me when I was a child, while my mother was at work, could make a mean Cornish Pasty. Many of her extended family members originated from Cornwall and passed on the family recipe to her. We often used to have them for lunch, especially when we went out for the day. My second memory is of having cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End, with Dave, in 15 days, arriving at Land’s End and the first thing we ate was a Cornish Pasty each. I am not sure whether it was of the highest quality but I certainly know that it was one of the most welcome meals that I have had, signalling no more cycling for a few days. The third memory, much more recent, was when I had bought this tea towel, Liz decided that she would try out the recipe on the tea towel to see if it worked. I can vouch for the fact that it does, although Liz prefers Delia Smith’s recipe for pastry.
I love this tea towel and the memories it brings back but I am fascinated about what Brexit means for the PGI status on so many British foods.