1st Annual Cornish Pasty Festival

The UKs first Cornish Pasty Festival.  Three-day event celebrating the history and heritage of the geographically-protected food and its links to Cornish Mining and the World Heritage Site was held in Redruth from 21-23 September 2012.  Flat met the Town Crier and a local pasty who was walking up and down Fore Street.  http://www.visitredruth.co.uk/World-Heritage-Tourist-Information/UserFiles/Files/Cornish%20Pasty%20Festival%20Programme.pdf


He only had one pasty, a regular steak pasty, but there were many more on offer and many flavours, including:


Traditional Cornish Pasties

  • Cornish Mixed Pasty

Speciality Pasties

  • Full English Breakfast Pasty
  • Beef Madras Pasty
  • Beef & Stilton Pasty
  • Cheese & Bacon Pasty
  • Chicken Pasty
  • Spicy Chicken Pasty
  • Chicken & Bacon Pasty
  • Ham, Leek & Cheese Pasty
  • Lamb & Mint Pasty
  • Pork & Apple Pasty
  • Steak & Ale Pasty
  • Steak & Onion Pasty
 

Flat didn’t have a chance to try making his own pasty, the pasty making room was very busy with lots of little fingers though.  But he found this website and will make one at home:  http://www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk/pasties.html

 

This is what Flat learned at the Cornish Pasty Festival:  “A wealth of historical evidence confirms the importance of the Cornish pasty as part of the county’s culinary heritage, with some of the first references appearing during the 13th Century, during the reign of Henry III. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that pasty was identified in around 1300. The pasty became commonplace in the 16th and 17th centuries and really attained its true Cornish identity during the last 200 years. By the 18th century it was firmly established as a Cornish food eaten by poorer working families who could only afford cheap ingredients such as potatoes, swede and onion. Meat was added later.

 

Evidence of the Cornish pasty as a traditional Cornish food is found in Worgan’s agricultural survey of Cornwall of 1808. In the 1860s records show that children employed in mines also took pasties with them as part of their crib or croust (local dialect for snack or lunch).

 

By the end of the 18th century it was the staple diet of working men across Cornwall. Miners and farm workers took this portable and easy to eat convenience food with them to work because it was so well suited to the purpose. Its size and shape made it easy to carry, its pastry case insulated the contents and was durable enough to survive, while its wholesome ingredients provided enough sustenance to see the workers through their long and arduous working days.


By the early 20th century the Cornish Pasty was produced on a large scale throughout the county as a basic food for farm workers and miners.”  http://www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk/history.html

 

He also learned that the Cornish Pasty is a protected food winning official recognition protection under the EU protected food names scheme!  A genuine Cornish pasty will need to contain chunks of beef, potato, onion and swede (or turnip, as it’s called in Cornwall), all encased in the famous D-shaped crust.  The award of Protected Geographic Indication status means the pasties can only be made in Cornwall, and only pasties meeting the registered specification will be able to carry the name ‘Cornish Pasty’ on their label. http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2011/02/22/cornish-pasties-can%E2%80%99t-be-pirated-3/

 

Flat had only one thing to say after he finished eating his first Cornish pasty:  “Proper job!”
singing the pasty song all the way home:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVEf1JfkKiY

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