HISTORY OF THE CORNISH PASTY
The Cornish pasty is a regional dish from the far Southwestern peninsula of the British Isles. It is well known and much enjoyed throughout Britain.
It was probably the first complete take-away meal originally designed for the Cornish miner and farmer who was away working all day and needed a meal but had no facilities to prepare one. The reason the filling was contained in a pastry case with a thick crust along one side was to hold on to, especially as their hands were dirty or tainted with tin, copper or iron. Often in previous times this was discarded or fed to "The Cornish Knockers" (ghosts of dead colleagues said to haunt the mines). The traditional filling was meat or fish, potato, onion, turnip and a little butter or cream.
The housewife prepared these daily for the man of the house and for the children who took them to work or school. It was the staple diet of the Cornish for many years. As the mines in Cornwall declined and "Cousin Jack" travelled extensively to find work this recipe went with him and still today one can still find small outcrops of societies all over the world producing the Cornish pasty, especially in Australia, South Africa, Canada and America.
There are many discussions as to the best pasty, the position of the crimp, what type of pastry to use the content etc. Nowadays the younger generation still love their pasty but with the demands of modern day life fewer people are making them.
Now since the Cornish Pasty gained I’s European PGI status in 2011 a Cornish Pasty must be made in Cornwall and has a distinctive ‘D’ shape and is crimped on one side, never on top.
With the advent of time the variety of fillings has moved away from the original recipe to cater to the demands of the general public and to a certain extent reflecting the regional and ethnic influences on our society over the years. Despite these factors plus the problems experienced with British beef over the years we still find that the traditional steak pasty still far outsells any other flavour.
Over the year’s we have won many prestigious prizes from our first being “the Golden pasty award” by Mr William Grimes, the New York food critic, aimed at finding the best pasty in the Southwest. Since then we have year on year won many more awards the height being 2013 winning both at “The World Pasty Championships” and “The British Pie Awards”.
We are constantly asked why our pasty is so good, why they taste differently to any others. There is no real secret, we believe that there is only one way to produce a good pasty and that is to always use the best quality ingredients available & remember you are producing a premium product.
You can make a pasty at home, just follow the recipe and ask if you need help. If when you are next in Padstow and are experiencing problems just give us a shout and we’ll do our best to help.