What is the History of the Cornish Pasty?

Cornish pasties have a background story that everyone will be interested to learn. In the 19th century, Cornish pasties were the main food for workers that work in the tin mines. For many years, the peasants of Cornwall have depended on tin mines to make a living. Mining is a tough and dirty job. The Cornish pasties are designed to provide all the nourishments that a miner needs so that he will have the strength to continue working in the mine. Without proper food, the miner can get fainted after working for the whole day in the hot and stuffy mine.

The miner’s initial will be carved onto the pasties to make it easy for them to identify their pasties. This is because the pasties are usually cooked by a cook and customized individually.  Many people have made the Cornish pasties with a crimped edge on the top. However, it is not certain where the crimped edge is located; whether it is not on one side or the top. The crimped crusty edge on the Cornish pasty serves as a handle for the miner. The miner’s fingers are contaminated with black arsenic stuff so they would hold the crimped crusty edge while eating the middle part. 

After the miner finished eating, he would toss the edge on the ground. According to legend, the buccas which is a type of small goblin would devour the edges that are tossed aside by the miners. They would feel happy and satisfied after eating the edges. This prevents them from causing mischief to the human who is working in the tin mines. However, it is not said that the buccas got sick from arsenic poisoning.

Cornish pasties are introduced to other areas after the mining industry declined. The miners have to find jobs in other places after the mining companies shut down. Many of them have emigrated to Australia, and South Africa. The ones that did make it to the US ended up in the upper peninsula in Michigan. The Cornish miners took their pasty culture with them so that it becomes well-received in Michigan afterwards.  You can buy Cornish pasties online if you can’t find them in your local bakery.

It is said that the Cornish people who work in the mines in Michigan often reheat their Cornish pasties on the shovel over the candles of their hats. At one time, the Cornish pasty started a fire in the mine. The lard was caught in flames after a miner forgot that he was heating it over the fire. Governor George Romney declared the National Pasty Day in honor of the Cornish pastry on 24 May 1968. The EU granted it a PGI status in 2011. It sets the standards on what it takes to be called a Cornish pasty. The standards are the pasty must be made in Cornwall, have a D shape, and contains at least 12.5% of raw beef, turnip, potato, and onion as ingredients.

The recipes for the Cornish pasties vary across different nationalities. The Finnish likes to add carrots to the Cornish pasties although they are a forbidden ingredient to add in the traditional recipe. The most common vegetables that all recipes include are potatoes and onions. The meat and vegetables should be cut into small sizes for easy wrapping of the pasty. If you cut the ingredients in slices, it can be hard for you to arrange it for wrapping into a D shape crimped pasty. 

The best way to eat the Cornish pasty is from the top to down. The pastry which weighs about 2 pounds can be saved for later if you are not able to finish it at one time. After all, it has meat and can make you feel full after you eat it halfway. The pasty can keep you feeling full for up to 10 hours which is long enough to keep the miners going in the tin mine. Eating Cornish pasty can make you feel warmer so it can be a good option when you are feeling cold. Some people like to eat Cornish pasties with ketchup and gravy. 

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