They have a saying in Cornwall that a good diet is having a Cornish pasty in both hands. And when they’re as tasty as the one above then who would disagree?
In the interest of research, over many years of visiting Cornwall, I’ve eaten a lot of pasties. Well…you have to, don’t you?
Anyway, after all this dedicated tasting business I can report that the bestest EVER pasty comes from Ann’s Pasty Bakehouse (like the one above did) on The Lizard. No question.
I have to admit though that these particular pasties came highly recommended by no less a person than actress Jenny Agutter, who has a holiday home in the area. And if they were good enough for the charming Jenny then I was definitely going to seek them out.
Even though it’s some years now since I was introduced to Ann’s Pasties, the quality of these bakes has never faltered. Ann still uses the same traditional, original family recipe – and she doesn’t mind sharing it. This is it!
Lovely chatty local lady, Janet, whose Cornish accent was divine (that’s her above) was behind the counter on the day we called in at the bakehouse for our pasties, before taking them down to nearby Church Cove to enjoy. Neither she nor her colleague, who was baking the pasties, (Ann had popped down to St Ives to see someone, we were told) minded my taking their picture.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never tried baking a pasty, although I’ll definitely be giving it a go now. I love finding new recipes, so if you have any, don’t be shy of sharing.
The History Bit …
Although pasties have been baked and enjoyed in England since the 13th century, it was around the 18th century – the Poldark era – that the actual cornish pasty came into being. Miners working long hours in terrible conditions needed a nutritious yet easily carried meal to last them through the day.
So their wives would fill pastry envelopes with beef, potatoes, onions and turnip – sometimes dividing the filling in two, with savoury at one end and sweet fruit or jam at the other. The edges would be crimped to make an easily held crust thus reducing the danger of the miner being contaminated by the dirty, sometimes poisonous, substances on his fingers.
Once established, the pasty’s fame soon spread. When bad times hit the county, and the local mining industry slumped, Cornish families emigrated to America – taking their pasty recipes with them. Nowadays only pasties actually made in Cornwall have the right to be called Cornish Pasties.
The Bit With a Wink …
Cornish fishermen never take pasties to sea because it’s considered bad luck to take a pasty on board.
Old miners used to leave a little piece of pasty down the mine for the spirits that would lead them to new tin and copper loads.
The Cornish (some of them) believe that the Devil stays out of Cornwall because he’s afraid he’ll get baked in a pasty.
So folks, the next time you are down Cornwall way, do drop in at the pasty shop on The Lizard – or the new one recently opened in Helston – you will not be disappointed.
Note from Rena:
I have no financial interest in any of the above. I just love Ann’s Pasties. And so will you!
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