The Cornish Pasty. A delicious, golden pastry filled with beef, vegetables and seasoning. It’s a British Classic with history.
Cornish Pasties were made and eaten as early as the 1500s by working families who could only afford cheap ingredients; the meat was added later. Towards the end of the 18th Century, they had become the staple diet of working families across Cornwall.
The size and shape of the Cornish Pasty made it easy to carry, the pastry case insulated the nourishing contents and was durable enough to survive. The crimped edge could also be used as a handle and discarded, particularly by those working in tin mines which had high levels of arsenic.
The production of Cornish Pasties makes a significant contribution to the local economy. It is estimated that some 13,000 people are directly and indirectly benefiting from the trade (gov.uk). The economic benefits extend to those who supply ingredients and services to the industry as well as those who work in it.
The pastry has Protected Name Status, meaning that to be called a Cornish Pasty, it must be made in Cornwall. The ingredients must also fulfil the following criteria:
- The pastry can be shortcrust, rough puff or puff pastry.
- The pasty must contain sliced or diced potato, swede, onion, diced or minced beef and seasoning.
- No meats other than beef, and no vegetables other than those listed in the mandatory ingredients are to be used in the filling.
- The vegetable content must be no less than 25% of the whole pasty
- The meat content must be no less than 12.5% of the whole pasty.
- Small amounts of other optional additional ingredients (up to 5% of the filling) are permitted to add succulence and flavour. They must not alter the overall flavour created by the mandatory ingredients.
- The ingredients must be raw when the pasty is filled. These will cook when the pasty is baked.
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Featured Image: Philip’s Famous Pasties