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Porthleven in Cornwall - The Cornish Pasty and the origins of Cornish Pasties.

The Story Of The Cornish Pasty

Pasties have probably been made in England since 13th century. Originally they were eaten by the wealthy upper classes and even royalty. They came with various of fillings including venison, beef, lamb and seafoord including eels and salmon. They were further flavoured with rich gravies and sometimes dried fruits.

A genuine Cornish Pasty, although Cornish Pasties come in all shapes and sizes

Around the 18th or 19th century the cornish pasty came into existance. With the development of tin and copper mining in Cornwall, the miners who worked long hours in terrible conditions, needed a nutritious yet portable meal to last them through the day.

The traditional cornish pasty contained beef mixed with potatoes onion and turnip. Pasties could even have a savoury end and a sweet end, rather like a two course meal. The pastie was filling and easy to carry. The crimp or crust made it easy to hold in the fingers whilst eating the filling and then discarding the crust. This was very important, the miners fingers were dirty and worse, where there is tin there is often arsenic which is a highly poisonous substance.

There is a rumour that was bad luck for fishermen to take Cornish pasties to sea. This was probably a rumour spread by the miners who wanted to keep the pasties for themselves.

With the decline of the cornish mining industry many miners emigrated for work to other countries including USA, Australia, South America, and South Africa. This resulted in the cornish pasty becomming popular in many far flung corners of the globe.

Cornish Pasties popular all around the world, not just in Cornwall

Today in Cornwall you will find cornish pasties in all shapes flavours and sizes. There is much debate about how a cornish pasty should be make. Some say the crimp should be on the top, others favour the side. The ingredients and type of pastry used are all open to debate. Many cornish people are fiercely proud of the cornish pasty and its traditions.

Cornish pasty with a chicken tikka filling

The cornish pasty is still a very popular take away food both with locals and with visitors to Cornwall. Pasty shops offer the traditional cornish pasty as well as a delicious range of alternative and exotic fillings.

Take a look at this great Cornish Pasty site - www.cornishpasties.org.uk

Try A Cornish Pasty When You Visit Porthleven

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Porthleven in Cornwall - a guide to its accommodation and attractions
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