Saturday, 28 March 2009
The smell of Cornwall
It doesn't look anything sitting there on the plate, does it? But if you could smell it as I do, you wouldn't be able to wait to get your teeth into it. Wendy from Redruth in West Cornwall has moved to our town and has started her Cornish Kitchen, selling these wonderful pasties, baked to order. I ordered a dozen and salivated all the way home as the car was suffused with the smell of pastry, potato, swede, onion and meat. If you've ever walked down the main street of any town in Cornwall at lunch time, you'll know what I mean.
They've been a vital part of the Cornish people's diet for over 200 years. There are hundreds of stories about the evolution of the pasty's shape, with the most popular being that the D-shape enabled tin miners to re-heat them underground as well as eat them safely. The crust (crimped edge) was used as a handle which was then discarded due to the high levels of arsenic in many of the tin mines. No chance of my discarding my crust....Wendy's pastry is divine.
The size of mine here is relatively modest, by Cornish standards. I've been in pubs where they fill the whole plate....too much for one person. Favourite way to eat them is straight from the bag, sauntering along the Prom - fighting off the seagulls.