It's Muggles vs The Three Broomsticks in a battle over Cornish Pasties

September 18, 2017, 3:22 PM · Fire the house elves. It appears that the Cornish Pasties that Universal is selling at The Three Broomsticks in Orlando might not really be Cornish Pasties after all.

Huh? What? How is this an issue? Isn't a Cornish Pasty just a bougey British Hot Pocket?

Not according to the European Union. The EU has given the Cornish Pasty what it calls a "Protected Geographical Indication." That means that something sold as a Cornish Pasty must adhere to specific requirements and be made in the English county of Cornwall, much like any sparking wine sold as "Champagne" has to be from that particular region in France.

A true Cornish Pasty, according to the EU, must include diced or minced beef, sliced or diced potatoes, turnips, and onions, encased in a D-shaped flaky pastry, with edged sealed by a rope-like crimp, all pointing in the same direction.

Universal Orlando's "Cornish Pasties" fails that test, and that apparently is upsetting some British fans. Universal describes The Three Broomstick's Cornish Pasties as "flakey pastry pies filled with ground beef, vegetables & potatoes." Ground beef isn't "diced or minced," and there's no word whether the vegetables in Universal's version include the required turnips and onions. The crimp on The Three Broomsticks looks like it was applied with a fork, rather than twisted by hand. Finally, who knows where these pasties were made, but I'd be willing to guess that they were not made in Cornwall and shipped to Orlando, given the other issues with the dish.

Does it matter? Legally, perhaps not. The United States has clashed with the European Union in the past over geographic indicators, and while Universal Orlando's Village of Hogsmeade might be set in the Scottish Highlands, it legally remains within the jurisdictions of the United States and Florida (which has fought its own geographic indication legal battles over oranges, FWIW). The PGI for Cornish Pasties might soon cease to exist, too, once Cornwall, England, and the rest of the United Kingdom leave the European Union under the still-being-negotiated "Brexit."

But if Universal wanted to do right by British tourists upset with the dish, it simply could rename it "English pasties" or "Traditional pasties," or something else that eliminated the word "Cornish." Of course, Universal also could just pony up the pounds for the real thing and order certified pasties from Cornwall to be shipped to The Three Broomsticks, but that would almost certainly mean the end of the $10 price tag, which last I checked made the pasties (served with a side salad and choice of dressing), the least expensive entree on The Three Broomsticks' lunch and dinner menu.

I just order the fish and chips or chicken and ribs, anyway.

Replies (12)

September 18, 2017 at 3:38 PM · Pffft. No idea what Universal's are like but a proper British Cornish Pasty contains slushy grey meat of unknown origin, far too many peas and a seal you can break your teeth on. Anything else just ain't right.
September 18, 2017 at 4:54 PM · This is beyond belief ... you can go into any Tesco or Sainsburys or wherever, and be overwhelmed for choice by the amount of 'Cornish' pasties that are on offer in plastic sealed bags. You can then wander over to the deli area and there are even more 'Cornish' pasties ... "made fresh daily". If you want, you can nip outside to the local independent bakery and once again be confronted by 'Cornish' pasties. All very very silly, considering the undoubted 100's of thousands UO must have sold. No other newspaper in the U.K. would have taken this story ... other than The Sun !!!! Tabloid press ... you gotta luv 'em .... :)
September 18, 2017 at 6:09 PM · First this and then we have to start calling them Freedom Fries again.
No, no, and double no.
September 18, 2017 at 6:52 PM · Call then British Pasties in Cornish style.
September 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM · I read pasties and was very disappointed in this article.
September 18, 2017 at 7:44 PM · Are house elves even EU certified, or is this another SPEW issue?

(And I really thought I would trigger someone with my Hot Pockets comparison.)

September 19, 2017 at 6:09 AM ·
The rebellion is not happy about all of this.....

September 19, 2017 at 6:15 AM · Universal lacking behind their rivals AGAIN! This is the kind of problem Disney would not have, as they have the financial clout to turn any legal spat in their favour.
September 19, 2017 at 6:42 AM · I live in Devon, the county next to Cornwall, we have Devon pasties haha. There are SO many versions of them. Very nice if made properly but many versions are awful. Thing is, the Cornish pasty even in Cornwall is very different to its origins. They were originally made for tin miners, they were about a foot long, half of it contained the mentioned ingredients and the other half was sweet, mostly apple ( the apple pie started in England in the 1300s). So it provided a full meal. The crimping part was not eaten - this is what the miners held with their dirty arsenic covered hands!!
September 19, 2017 at 7:37 AM · This is great, a very nice light-hearted entry that made my morning. Thank you.
September 19, 2017 at 9:58 AM · Champagne can only come from Champagne (but Sparkling WIne can come from anywhere), Feta from the right part of Greece....
September 20, 2017 at 2:34 AM · Epcot's Germany sells Stroopwafels (a very Dutch not German treat) and portrays the Dutch Sinterklaas as theirs.
Gouda cheese (from the Dutch city of Gouda) is nothing like any of the Gouda cheese sold in the US (trust me I tried them all and they all taste like crap) but unlike Champaign it's not protected so anyone can slap it on their cheese.
I also want to protest against the croissant with escargot at the France pavilion. There is no such thing in France. And the list goes on.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive