A pasty sometimes known as a pastie or British pasty in the United States, is a filled pastry
Pastry is the name given to various kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder and/or eggs. Small cakes, tarts and other sweet baked products are called "pastries."...

 case, associated in particular with Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

 in Great Britain. It is made by placing the uncooked filling on a flat pastry circle, and folding it to wrap the filling, crimping the edge at the side or top to form a seal. The result is a raised semicircular package.

The traditional Cornish pasty, which has Protected Geographical Indication
Protected Geographical Status
Protected Geographical Status is a legal framework defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods. Protected Designation of Origin , Protected Geographical Indication and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed are distinct regimes of geographical indications within the framework...

 (PGI) status in Europe, is filled with beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

, sliced or diced potato, swede
The rutabaga, swede , turnip or yellow turnip is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip; see Triangle of U...

 (also known as a yellow turnip or rutabaga) and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, and is baked
Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, and not by radiation, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. It is primarily used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries and pies, tarts, quiches, cookies and crackers. Such items...

. Today, the pasty is the food most associated with Cornwall regarded as its national dish
National dish
A national dish is a dish, food or a drink that is considered to represent a particular country, nation or region.A dish can become a national dish for a variety of reasons. It can be the national dish because it is a staple daily food for the majority of the population. It can also be the national...

, and accounts for 6% of the Cornish food economy. Pasties with many different fillings are made; some shop
Retail consists of the sale of physical goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as a department store, boutique or kiosk, or by mail, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be...

s specialise in selling all sorts of pasties.

The origins of the pasty are unclear, though there are many references to them throughout historical documents and fiction. The pasty is now popular world wide due to the spread of Cornish miners, and variations can be found in Australia, the United States, Mexico and southwest Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...



Despite the modern pasty's strong association with Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, its exact origins are unclear. The term "pasty" is an English word for a pie, of venison
Venison is the meat of a game animal, especially a deer but also other animals such as antelope, wild boar, etc.-Etymology:The word derives from the Latin vēnor...

 or other meat, baked without a dish. Pasties have been mentioned in cookbooks throughout the ages; for example the earliest version of Le Viandier has been dated to around 1300 and contains several pasty recipes. In 1393, Le Menagier De Paris contains recipes for pasté with venison, veal, beef, or mutton.

Other early references to pasties include a 13th century charter which was granted by Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 (1207–1272) to the town of Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth, often known to locals as Yarmouth, is a coastal town in Norfolk, England. It is at the mouth of the River Yare, east of Norwich.It has been a seaside resort since 1760, and is the gateway from the Norfolk Broads to the sea...

. The town is bound to send to the sheriffs of Norwich every year one hundred herrings, baked in twenty four pasties, which the sheriffs are to deliver to the lord of the manor of East Carlton who is then to convey them to the King. Around the same time, 13th century chronicler
English historians in the Middle Ages
Historians of England in the Middle Ages helped to lay the groundwork for modern historical historiography, providing vital accounts of the early history of England, Wales and Normandy, its cultures, and revelations about the historians themselves....

 Matthew Paris
Matthew Paris
Matthew Paris was a Benedictine monk, English chronicler, artist in illuminated manuscripts and cartographer, based at St Albans Abbey in Hertfordshire...

 wrote of the monks of St Albans Abbey
St Albans Cathedral
St Albans Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral church at St Albans, England. At , its nave is the longest of any cathedral in England...

 "according to their custom, lived upon pasties of flesh-meat". A total of 5,500 venison pasties were served at the installation feast of George Neville, archbishop of York and chancellor of England in 1465. They were even eaten by royalty, as a letter from a baker to Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution for trumped up charges of high treason, incest and adultery in May 1536. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of...

 (1508–1537) confirms: "...hope this pasty reaches you in better condition than the last one..." In his diaries written in the mid 17th century, Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys FRS, MP, JP, was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man...

 makes several references to his consumption of pasties, for instance "dined at Sir W. Pen’s ... on a damned venison pasty, that stunk like a devil.", but after this period the use of the word outside Cornwall declined.

In contrast to its earlier place amongst the wealthy, during the 17th and 18th centuries the pasty became popular with working people in Cornwall, where tin miners and others adopted it due to its unique shape, forming a complete meal that could be carried easily and eaten without cutlery. In a mine the pasty's dense, folded pastry could stay warm for several hours, and if it did get cold it could easily be warmed on a shovel over a candle.

Side-crimped pasties gave rise to the suggestion that the miner might have eaten the pasty holding the thick edge of pastry, which was later discarded, thereby ensuring that his dirty fingers (possibly including traces of arsenic
Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As, atomic number 33 and relative atomic mass 74.92. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in conjunction with sulfur and metals, and also as a pure elemental crystal. It was first documented by Albertus Magnus in 1250.Arsenic is a metalloid...

) did not touch food or his mouth. However many old photographs show that pasties were wrapped in bags made of paper or muslin
Muslin |sewing patterns]], such as for clothing, curtains, or upholstery. Because air moves easily through muslin, muslin clothing is suitable for hot, dry climates.- Etymology and history :...

 and were eaten from end-to-end; according to the earliest Cornish recipe book, published in 1929, this is "the true Cornish way" to eat a pasty. Another theory suggests that pasties were marked at one end with an initial and then eaten from the other end so that if not finished in one go, they could easily be reclaimed by their owners.

In 2006, a researcher in Devon discovered a recipe for a pasty tucked inside an audit book and dated 1510, calculating the cost of the ingredients. This replaced the previous oldest recipe, dated 1746, held by the Cornwall Records Office in Truro
Truro is a city and civil parish in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The city is the centre for administration, leisure and retail in Cornwall, with a population recorded in the 2001 census of 17,431. Truro urban statistical area, which includes parts of surrounding parishes, has a 2001 census...

, Cornwall. The dish at the time was cooked with venison
Venison is the meat of a game animal, especially a deer but also other animals such as antelope, wild boar, etc.-Etymology:The word derives from the Latin vēnor...

, in this case from the Mount Edgcumbe
Mount Edgcumbe House
Mount Edgcumbe House is a stately home in south-east Cornwall. It is a Grade II listed building and the gardens are listed as Grade I in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England....

 estate, as the pasty was then considered a luxury meal. Alongside the ledger, which included the price of the pasty in Plymouth, Devon in 1509, the discovery sparked a controversy between the neighbouring counties of Devon and Cornwall as to the origin of the dish. However, the term pasty appears in much earlier written records from other parts of the country, as mentioned above.

Cornish Pasty

The pasty is regarded as the national dish of Cornwall. Following a nine year campaign by the Cornish Pasty Association, the trade organisation of about 50 pasty makers based in Cornwall, the name "Cornish Pasty" was awarded Protected Geographical Indication
Protected Geographical Status
Protected Geographical Status is a legal framework defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods. Protected Designation of Origin , Protected Geographical Indication and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed are distinct regimes of geographical indications within the framework...

 (PGI) status by the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 on 20 July 2011. According to the PGI status a Cornish Pasty should be shaped like a ‘D’ and crimped on one side, not on the top. Its ingredients should include uncooked beef, swede
The rutabaga, swede , turnip or yellow turnip is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip; see Triangle of U...

 (called turnip in Cornwall), potato and onion, with a light seasoning of salt and pepper, keeping a chunky texture. The pastry should be golden and retain its shape when cooked and cooled. The PGI status also means that Cornish Pasties must be prepared in Cornwall. They do not have to be baked in Cornwall, nor do the ingredients have to come from the county, though the Cornish Pasty Association noted that there are strong links between pasty production and local suppliers of the ingredients. Packaging for pasties which conform to the requirements will be stamped with an authentication logo.

Producers outside Cornwall have objected to the PGI award, with one saying "[EU bureaucrats could] go to hell", and another that it was "protectionism for some big pasty companies to churn out a pastiche of the real iconic product".
Major UK supermarkets Asda
Asda Stores Ltd is a British supermarket chain which retails food, clothing, general merchandise, toys and financial services. It also has a mobile telephone network, , Asda Mobile...

 and Morrisons
Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc is the fourth largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, headquartered in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The company is usually referred to and is branded as Morrisons formerly Morrison's, and it is part of the FTSE 100 Index of companies...

 both stated they would be affected by the change, as did nationwide bakery chain Greggs
Greggs plc is the largest specialist retail bakery chain in the United Kingdom. It was established in the 1930s as a single shop but has approximately 1,500 outlets....

, though Greggs is one of seven companies allowed to continue to use the name "Cornish Pasty" during a three-year transitional period.

Members of the Cornish Pasty Association (CPA) made about 87 million pasties in 2008, amounting to sales of £60 million (about 6% of the food economy of Cornwall). Over 1,800 permanent staff are employed by members of the CPA and some 13,000 other jobs benefit from the trade. Recent surveys by the South West tourism board show that one of the top three reasons people visit Cornwall is the food and that the Cornish pasty is the food most associated with Cornwall.

Recipes and ingredients

The recipe for a Cornish pasty, as defined by its protected status
Protected Geographical Status
Protected Geographical Status is a legal framework defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods. Protected Designation of Origin , Protected Geographical Indication and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed are distinct regimes of geographical indications within the framework...

, includes diced or minced beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

, onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

, potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

 and swede
The rutabaga, swede , turnip or yellow turnip is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip; see Triangle of U...

 in rough chunks along with some "light peppery" seasoning
Seasoning is the process of imparting flavor to, or improving the flavor of, food.- General meaning :Seasonings include herbs and spices, which are themselves frequently referred to as "seasonings"...

. The cut of beef used is generally skirt steak
Skirt steak
Skirt steak is a cut of beef steak, from the plate. It is a long, flat cut that is prized for its flavor rather than tenderness. Sometimes flank steak is used interchangeably with skirt steak, but it is a different cut of meat....

. Due to a local colloquialism, swede can be referred to and advertised as turnip
The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock...

 whilst in a pasty, but only swede may appear in a pasty. Pasty ingredients are usually seasoned with salt and pepper, depending on individual taste. The use of carrot
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh...

 in a traditional Cornish pasty is regarded as a "no-no", though it does appear regularly in recipes.

The type of pastry used is not defined, as long as it is golden in colour and will not crack during the cooking or cooling, although modern pasties almost always use a short crust pastry. There is a humorous belief that the pastry on a good pasty should be strong enough to withstand a drop down a mine shaft, and indeed the barley flour that was usually used does make hard dense pastry.


Although the official pasty has a specific ingredients list, old Cornish cookery books show that pasties were generally made from whatever food was available. Indeed, the earliest recorded pasty recipes include venison, not beef. "Pasty" has always been a generic name for the shape and can contain a variety of fillings, including stilton, vegetarian and even chicken tikka
Chicken Tikka
Chicken tikka is a chicken dish served in Indian and Pakistani cuisine. It is popular in countries all over the world. It is traditionally small pieces of boneless chicken baked using skewers, in a clay-based oven called a tandoor, after marinating in spices and yogurt.The word tikka means "bits,...

. Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

 and apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

 pasties are readily available in shops throughout Cornwall and Devon, with the ingredients including an apple flavoured sauce, mixed together throughout the pasty, as well as sweet pasties with ingredients such as apple and fig or chocolate and banana, which are common in some areas of Cornwall.

A part-savoury, part-sweet pasty (similar to the Bedfordshire clanger
Bedfordshire clanger
The Bedfordshire Clanger is a dish from the county of Bedfordshire, in England. It is an elongated suet crust dumpling with a meat filling at one end and a jam filling at the other, comprising main course and dessert in one item....

) was eaten by miners in the 19th century, in the copper mines on Parys Mountain
Parys Mountain
Parys Mountain – in the Welsh language Mynydd Parys – is located south of the town of Amlwch in north east Anglesey, Wales. It is the site of a large copper mine that was extensively exploited in the late 18th century.-History:...

, Anglesey
Anglesey , also known by its Welsh name Ynys Môn , is an island and, as Isle of Anglesey, a county off the north west coast of Wales...

. The technician who did the research and discovered the recipe claimed that the recipe was probably taken to Anglesey by Cornish miners travelling to the area looking for work. No two-course pasties are commercially produced in Cornwall today, but are usually the product of amateur cooks.

A pasty is known as a "tiddy oggy" when steak is replaced with an extra potato, "tiddy" meaning potato and "oggy" meaning pasty.


Whilst the PGI rules state that a Cornish pasty must be a "D" shape, with crimping along the curve (i.e., side-crimped), crimping is variable within Cornwall, with some advocating a side crimp while others maintain that a top crimp is more authentic.

Some sources state that the difference between a Devon and Cornish pasty is that a Devon pasty has a top-crimp and is oval in shape, whereas the Cornish pasty is semicircular and side-crimped along the curve. However, pasties with a top crimp have been made in Cornwall for generations, yet those Cornish bakers who favour this method now find that they cannot legally call their pasties "Cornish".

In other regions

Migrating Cornish miners (colloquially known as Cousin Jacks in the US) helped to spread pasties into the rest of the world during the 19th century. As tin mining in Cornwall began to fail, miners brought their expertise and traditions to new mining regions around the world. As a result, pasties can be found in many regions, including:
  • Many parts of Australia, including the Yorke Peninsula
    Yorke Peninsula
    The Yorke Peninsula is a peninsula located north-west and west of Adelaide in South Australia, Australia, between Spencer Gulf on the west and Gulf St Vincent on the east. It has geographic coordinates of...

    , the site of an annual pasty festival since 1973, which claims to be the world's largest. A clarification of the Protected Geographical Status ruling has confirmed that pasties made in Australia are still allowed to be called "Cornish Pasties".

  • The Upper Peninsula of Michigan
    Upper Peninsula of Michigan
    The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan. It is commonly referred to as the Upper Peninsula, the U.P., or Upper Michigan. It is also known as the land "above the Bridge" linking the two peninsulas. The peninsula is bounded...

    . In some areas, pasties are a significant tourist attraction, including an annual Pasty Fest in Calumet, Michigan
    Calumet, Michigan
    Calumet is a village in Calumet Township, Houghton County, in the U.S. state of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, that was once at the center of the mining industry of the Upper Peninsula. Also known as Red Jacket, the village includes the Calumet Downtown Historic District, listed on the National...

     in early July. Pasties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan have a particularly unusual history, as a small influx of Finnish immigrants followed the Cornish miners in 1864. These Finns (and many other ethnic groups) adopted the pasty for use in the Copper Country
    Copper Country
    The Copper Country is an area in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the United States, including all of Keweenaw County, Michigan and most of Houghton, Baraga and Ontonagon counties. The area is so named as copper mining was prevalent there from 1845 until the late 1960s, with one mine ...

     copper mines. About 30 years later, a much larger flood of Finnish immigrants found their countrymen baking pasties. The pasty has become strongly associated with Finnish culture in this area, and in the culturally similar Iron Range
    Iron Range
    The Iron Range is a region that makes up the northeastern section of Minnesota in the United States. "The Range", as it is known by locals, is a region with multiple distinct bands of iron ore...

     in northern Minnesota.

  • Mineral Point, Wisconsin
    Mineral Point, Wisconsin
    Mineral Point is a city in Iowa County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 2,617 at the 2000 census. In 2008 the city's population had taken a decline and is currently only 2,462, but still the second most populous community in Iowa County...

     was the site of the first mineral rush in the USA during the 1830s. After lead was discovered in Mineral Point many of the early miners migrated to this south-western Wisconsin area from Cornwall. Those Cornish miners brought their skills working in the deep underground tin mines of Cornwall. They also brought their recipe and appetite for the pasty. A similar local history about the arrival of the pasty in the area with an influx of Welsh
    Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

     and Cornish miners, and its preservation as a local delicacy, is found in Butte, Montana
    Butte, Montana
    Butte is a city in Montana and the county seat of Silver Bow County, United States. In 1977, the city and county governments consolidated to form the sole entity of Butte-Silver Bow. As of the 2010 census, Butte's population was 34,200...


  • The Anthracite regions of northeastern Pennsylvania including the cities of Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and Hazleton
    Hazleton may refer to:Places*Hazleton, Gloucestershire, a town in Gloucestershire, England; see List of places in Gloucestershire*Hazleton, Indiana, a town in White River Township, Gibson County, Indiana, in the United States....

     had an influx of miners to the area in the 1800's and with them brought the pasty. To this day pastys are still a local favourite.

  • The Mexican state of Hidalgo, and the twin silver mining cities of Pachuca
    Pachuca, formally Pachuca de Soto is the capital of the Mexican state of Hidalgo. It is located in the south-central part of the state. Pachuca de Soto is also the name of the municipality of which the city serves as municipal seat...

     and Real del Monte (Mineral del Monte
    Mineral del Monte
    Mineral del Monte is a small town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico, lying at an altitude of 2700 metres ....

    ), have notable Cornish influences from the Cornish miners who settled there with pasties being considered typical local cuisine. In Mexican Spanish, they are referred to as pastes.

  • They are also popular in South Africa and New Zealand.

In culture


Pasties have been mentioned in multiple literary works since the 12th century Arthurian romance
Romance (genre)
As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a style of heroic prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a knight errant portrayed as...

 Erec and Enide
Erec and Enide
Erec and Enide is the first of Chrétien de Troyes' five romance poems, completed around 1170. It is one of three completed works by the author...

, written by Chrétien de Troyes
Chrétien de Troyes
Chrétien de Troyes was a French poet and trouvère who flourished in the late 12th century. Perhaps he named himself Christian of Troyes in contrast to the illustrious Rashi, also of Troyes...

, in which they are eaten by characters from the area now known as Cornwall. There is a mention in Havelok the Dane
Havelok the Dane
Havelok the Dane, also known as Havelok or Lay of Havelok the Dane, is a Middle English romance considered to be part of the Matter of England. The story, however, is also known in two earlier Anglo-Norman versions. Most scholars place Havelok the Dane at the end of the thirteenth century, between...

, another romance written at the end of the thirteenth century; in the 14th century Robin Hood
Robin Hood
Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes....

 tales; in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at...

; and in three plays by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...


Pasties appear in many novels, used to draw parallels or represent Cornwall. In American Gods
American Gods
American Gods is a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel by Neil Gaiman. The novel is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology, all centering on a mysterious and taciturn protagonist, Shadow. It is Gaiman's fourth prose novel, being preceded by Good Omens ,...

by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
Neil Richard Gaiman born 10 November 1960)is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book...

, main character Shadow discovers pasties at Mabel's restaurant in the fictional town of Lakeside. The food is mentioned as being popularized in America by Cornishmen, as a parallel to how gods are "brought over" to America in the rest of the story. Another literature reference takes place in The Cat Who... series by Lilian Jackson Braun
Lilian Jackson Braun
Lilian Jackson Braun was an American writer, well known for her light-hearted series of "The Cat Who..." mystery novels...

. Pasties are referred to as a cultural part of the north country, and Jim Qwilleran often eats at The Nasty Pasty, a popular restaurant in fictional Moose County, famous for its tradition of being a mining settlement. Reference to pasties is made in Brian Jacques
Brian Jacques
James Brian Jacques was an English author best known for his Redwall series of novels and Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series. He also completed two collections of short stories entitled The Ribbajack & Other Curious Yarns and Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales.-Biography:Brian Jacques was born...

' popular Redwall
Redwall, by Brian Jacques, is a series of fantasy novels. It is the title of the first book of the series, published in 1986, the name of the Abbey featured in the book, and the name of an animated TV series based on three of the novels , which first aired in 1999...

series of novels, where it is a staple favourite on the menu to the mice and hares of Redwall Abbey. Pasties also appear in the Poldark
The Poldark Novels
The Poldark Novels are a historical fictional sequence by Winston Graham.The main character, Ross Poldark, a British Army officer, returns to his home in Cornwall from the American Revolutionary War only to find that his fiancée, Elizabeth Chynoweth, having believed him dead, is about to marry his...

series of historical novel
Historical novel
According to Encyclopædia Britannica, a historical novel is-Development:An early example of historical prose fiction is Luó Guànzhōng's 14th century Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which covers one of the most important periods of Chinese history and left a lasting impact on Chinese culture.The...

s of Cornwall, by Winston Graham
Winston Graham
Winston Mawdsley Graham OBE was an English novelist, best known for the The Poldark Novel series of historical fiction.-Biography:...

, as well as the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 television series adapted from these works.

Superstitions, rhymes and chants

In the tin mines of Devon and Cornwall, pasties were associated with "knockers", spirits said to create a knocking sound that was either supposed to indicate the location of rich veins of ore, or to warn of an impending tunnel collapse. To encourage the good will of the knockers, miners would leave a small part of the pasty within the mine for them to eat. Sailors and fisherman would likewise discard a crust to appease the spirits of dead mariners, though fishermen believed that it was bad luck to take a pasty aboard ship.

A Cornish proverb, recounted in 1861, emphasised the great variety of ingredients that were used in pasties by saying that the devil would not come into Cornwall for fear of ending up as a filling in one. A West Country
West Country
The West Country is an informal term for the area of south western England roughly corresponding to the modern South West England government region. It is often defined to encompass the historic counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and the City of Bristol, while the counties of...

 schoolboy playground
A playground or play area is a place with a specific design for children be able to play there. It may be indoors but is typically outdoors...

A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words and is most often used in poetry and songs. The word "rhyme" may also refer to a short poem, such as a rhyming couplet or other brief rhyming poem such as nursery rhymes.-Etymology:...

 current in the 1940s concerning the pasty went: In 1959 the English singer-songwriter Cyril Tawney
Cyril Tawney
Cyril Tawney was an English singer-songwriter, proponent of the traditional songs of the West of England and traditional and modern maritime songs.- Biography :...

 wrote a nostalgic song called "The Oggie Man". The song tells of the pasty-seller with his characteristic vendor's call who was always outside Plymouth's Devonport Naval Dockyard
HMNB Devonport
Her Majesty's Naval Base Devonport , is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the Royal Navy . HMNB Devonport is located in Devonport, in the west of the city of Plymouth in Devon, England...

 gates late at night when the sailors were returning, and his replacement by hot dog sellers after World War II.

The word "oggy" in the internationally popular chant "Oggy Oggy Oggy, Oi Oi Oi
Oggy Oggy Oggy
The Oggy Oggy Oggy chant , and its numerous variations, are often heard at sporting events, political rallies and around Scout and Guide campfires, primarily in Britain, Ireland and some Commonwealth nations....

" is thought to stem from Cornish dialect "hoggan", deriving from "hogen" the Cornish
Cornish language
Cornish is a Brythonic Celtic language and a recognised minority language of the United Kingdom. Along with Welsh and Breton, it is directly descended from the ancient British language spoken throughout much of Britain before the English language came to dominate...

 word for pasty. When the pasties were ready for eating, the bal maiden
Bal maiden
The term bal maiden refers to women and children who were probably working at or in the mines in Devon and Cornwall from the days of antiquity, but the earliest written records date from the Middle Ages. From this time, at least, it seems that women and girls did not work below ground, but usually...

s at the mines would supposedly shout down the shaft "Oggy Oggy Oggy" and the miners would reply "Oi Oi Oi".

Giant pasties

As the national dish of Cornwall, several oversized versions of the pasty have been created in the county. For example, a giant pasty is paraded from Polruan
Polruan is a small fishing village in the parish of Lanteglos-by-Fowey in Cornwall, England, UK. It is bounded on three sides by water: to the north by Pont Creek, to the west by the River Fowey and to the south by the English Channel and neighbours village Bodinnick to the north, connected by a 4...

 to Fowey
Fowey is a small town, civil parish and cargo port at the mouth of the River Fowey in south Cornwall, United Kingdom. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 2,273.-Early history:...

 through the streets during regatta
A regatta is a series of boat races. The term typically describes racing events of rowed or sailed water craft, although some powerboat race series are also called regattas...

 week. Similarly, a giant pasty is paraded around the ground of the Cornish Pirates
Cornish Pirates
The Cornish Pirates are an English professional rugby union team who play in the Championship, the second level of the English rugby union pyramid, and are the premier Cornish rugby club. Formerly known as Penzance & Newlyn Pirates, the Cornish Pirates play their home games and train at their...

 rugby team on St Piran's Day before it is passed over the goal posts.

The world's largest Cornish pasty was made in August 2010, measuring 4.6 metres (15.1 ft) and weighing 860 kilograms (1,896 lb). It was created by "Proper Cornish" bakers, using 165 kilograms (363.8 lb) of beef, 180 pounds (81.6 kg) of swede, 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of potatoes and 75 pounds (34 kg) of onions. The pasty was estimated to cost £7,000 and contain 1.75 million calories.


See also

  • Bridie
    A bridie or Forfar bridie is a Scottish type of meat pastry, originally made in the town of Forfar, Scotland.- Content :A bridie is a savoury pie similar to a pasty, but the pastry is not as hard and no potato is used, making it much lighter in texture...

     - Scottish equivalent
  • Empanada
    An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin America, Southern Europe and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanada is made by folding a dough or bread patty around the stuffing...

     - similar dish from Iberia and Latin America
  • Fleischkuekle
    Fleischkuekle is a type of meat pie made with flat bread, similar to a Cornish pasty, or Russian chebureki. The dish is traditional Volga Deutsch/Germans from Russia recipe, and through immigration became an addition to the Cuisine of North Dakota. It is also spelled Fleischkuechle...

     - German-Russian meat pie made with flatbread
  • Paste - Mexican dish based on Pasty

Further reading

  • The Cornish Pasty by Stephen Hall, Agre Books, Nettlecombe, UK, 2001 ISBN 0953800040
  • The Pasty Book by Hettie Merrick, Tor Mark, Redruth, UK, 1995 ISBN 978-0-85025-347-4
  • Pasties by Lindsey Bareham, Mabecron Books, Plymouth, UK, 2008 ISBN 978-0-9532156-6-9
  • English Food by Jane Grigson (revised by Sophie Grigson), Penguin Books, London, 1993, ISBN 0-14-027324-7

External links

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