The Cornish Pasty

What a subject!

Am I sufficiently qualified to voice an opinion?

Have I ever eaten a pasty?

Oh yes!

Well then good sir – opine to your heart’s content.

The Cornish Pasty has Protected Geographic Indication status (PGI). What a shame it isn’t a Protected Indication of Geography status!

There were protests on the streets when Teflon Dave and his mate Shiny George threatened us with the pasty tax*.

People from upcountry are amazed that we actually do eat Cornish pasties downalong, but of course they’re not called Cornish pasties here, just pasties.

And let’s face it. Pasties rock.

I was minded to write about the pasty in part because I’ve called mother and politely placed my order for a pasty when I pop in to visit on Thursday. And minded in part because the World Pasty Championships are fast approaching at the end of the month.

The pasty is shrouded in myth and legend, but its style and recipe has been determined by the PGI, for now at least.

It’s supposedly only Cornish if it’s made of minced beef (minced?), potato, turnip (that’s the orange one for all you funny up country folk who have a tendency to mix their swedes and turnips), onion, and a good grind of salt and pepper.

Crimping (the join) should go around the side – supposedly to give the miners a handle that they could throw away.

All these rules are very well, but there’re a few missing, in particular relating to how you eat the thing.

So here goes for a few more rules:

  • Eat it out of a paper bag, no knives or forks please
  • Drink a nice cup of sugared tea with it (doesn’t matter that you don’t take sugar)
  • No sharing, no pasty’s so big that it needs to be shared

As for the myth of a traditional pasty having fruit at one end…

Well, my gran was born in the century before last (ages ago) and her gran was about 300 years old at least, and she said “Codswallop!” (except she probably said it in Cornish and I’ve no idea what that might be, skoll perhaps – that means something like “rubbish”).

Anyway here’s the most important bit.

Who makes the best?

Well, my favourite boughten pasty (cut yer and av ee?)(completely incomprehensible unless you’ve lived in Newlyn for many decades) is from Trevaskis Farm near Gwinear, Hayle.

But obviously Mother’s is best (although Aunty Eleanor used to be heavy handed with the pepper, and I always liked that).

Oggy, oggy, oggy.

Proper job! - image borrowed from the Cornish Pasty Association (really).

Proper job! – image borrowed from the Cornish Pasty Association (really).

*(Interesting that. The last time London was invaded from the land was by the Cornish back in 1497, and that was a tax revolt as well, but that’s another story, and I’ll have to dig deep to remember it all).