You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Cornish pasties should be made with filo pastry, not shortcrust, health chiefs at Cornish hospital say

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 14/09/2018 Henry Bodkin

Traditional Cornish Pasties © Getty Traditional Cornish Pasties Cornish pasties should be made with filo pastry and not shortcrust in an effort to tackle obesity, health leaders in the county have said.

A row has erupted after the head of facilities at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust revealed she was seeking a method of producing the historic local snack using lighter pastry more closely associated with Middle Eastern cuisine.

Jill Venables said that while filo pastry is still high in fat, it has fewer calories than shortcrust and should be served in local hospitals instead of the local pasty.

Download the all-new Microsoft News app – available now on iOS and Android

But local producers have reacted sceptically, criticising the “nannying NHS” and warning that a new name would need to be found for the filo alternative because the Cornish pasty is a legally protected food.

Ms Venables told the Public Health England conference that some hospital visitors eat three Cornish pasties a day.

While acknowledging there is “nothing evil” about a traditional pasty, which can comprise up to 800 calories, she said she wanted to “save patients' lives, which is why we are focusing on therapeutic diets”.

Related: Famous recipes it’s illegal to change (Lovefood)

"Cornish people will probably throw me out of Cornwall but I'm working on a few recipes, using a few alternative things to shortcrust pastry, such as filo or pasta.

“There has to be a way to do this.”

The trust is already taking steps to replace its traditional fish and chips with a baked cod and chips option which reduces the calorie number from 923 to 360 and the fat content from 53g to 5g.

It follows a wider drive to improve the health content of food and drink available in NHS.

Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, last year announced he would cut funding for trusts if they failed to remove super-sized confectionary from premises.

A spokesman for the Cornish Pasty association, which represents producers, said: “We believe the Cornish pasty recipe has stood the test of time and will continue to do so.  

“Part of the reason the Cornish pasty became so popular is because it can be regarded as a simple, complete, nutritious meal.

Jill Venables said that while filo pastry is still high in fat, it has fewer calories than shortcrust and should be served in local hospitals instead of the local pasty. © Getty Jill Venables said that while filo pastry is still high in fat, it has fewer calories than shortcrust and should be served in local hospitals instead of the local pasty. “We see no reason why Cornish pasties can’t still be enjoyed by anyone as part of a healthy balanced diet.”

Ann Muller, owner of the Lizard-based Ann’s Pasties, added: “I’m not sure how filo pastry would stand up to the amount of cooking you’d need for a proper pasty.”

“My neighbour is 92-years-old and he eats pasties regularly, it’s not done him any harm.”

Meanwhile Malcom Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, said: “We don’t need the nannying NHS to nag us about what’s right and wrong.”

Watch: Can eating a kiwi a day keep the doctor away? (Cover Video)

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Telegraph

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon