Cornish Pasty Facts and Faux Pas

February 22nd, 2019

Cornwall is renowned for their famous pasty, and they can be found almost everywhere you go within the county. Each year, pasties contribute around £300 million worth of trade for the Cornish economy, making these baked goods one of the most important parts of life in Cornwall. We take a look at some facts and faux pas associated with these traditional treats.

If you are somehow unaware of what a Cornish pasty is, a traditional pasty is a pastry filled with swede, potato and onion, alongside chunks of beef. Each ingredient goes into the pasty uncooked, allowing all of the flavours to cook together and form its own gravy. To be officially considered a Cornish pasty, there must be 12.5 percent meat and 25 percent vegetables, with the rest being shortcrust or puff pastry. Another unbreakable rule is that all pasties dubbed ‘Cornish’ have to be baked in Cornwall.

Cornish pasty facts

Common Pasty Faux Pas

As pasty’s are protected by law in terms of their geographical status and exact percentages of meat vs veg that should be found within their delicious pastry cases, it is perhaps not surprising that there are also a number of non-legal, but equally strictly followed, rules regarding their eating in Cornwall. There is culinary etiquette to follow when enjoying a pasty, so to avoid the faux pas, here are a few common complaints:

Pasties Should Be Eaten From a Paper Bag

When you buy a pasty fresh from a bakery, it should be presented to you in a paper bag. Rather than popping the pasty onto a plate and tucking in with a knife and fork, the pasty should be simply eaten directly from the bag, as it was invented to be a meal to enjoy quickly on the go without the need for utensils. Plus, the bag will help to catch any pastry crumbs that are bound to fall off the pasty when you bite into it!

A Pasty Shouldn’t Be Served With Chips or Salad

The pasty was used by miners as a way to enjoy a full meal in one handy pastry parcel. Therefore, putting a pasty on a plate and adding a side of fries kind of defeats the point! Plus, a pasty is typically already packed full of potato and vegetable, so why would you need more on the side?!

Don’t Feed Seagulls

Many visit Cornwall to enjoy the delights of the seaside, but a common problem associated with this area are the pesky seagulls who would love a nibble of pasty! Beware when enjoying a delicious traditional bake by the seaside as a gull may try to swoop in and nab it, and be sure not to feed the seagulls on purpose as this can cause problems!

Discover more facts about the Cornish pasty in our previous blog post! If you’d like a taste of the real deal, fresh from the oven of a Cornish bakery, then a self-catering holiday in Cornwall could be just the thing for you!