Thursday, 24 February 2011

Rejoice! The pasty is truly Cornish

I am in a snowy Colorado at the moment, but the big news from back home in Cornwall is that the flags (a black background with a white cross) are waving across the county with the news that the famous Cornish pasty has received protected status from the European Commission.

Now only pasties supplied in Cornwall can be labelled 'Cornish' and they must have the traditional recipe of beef, potato, onion and swede. A Cornish pasty must also be crimped on one side, giving it the distinctive D shape. This is a legacy of the original purpose of the pasty, a cheap and filling meal for the Cornish tin miners, the crimped edge making a nice disposable handle.

At the risk of being lynched when I get back home, I have to say that they are just a little over-rated, having been weaned on the delicious Lancastrian meat and potato pies, but I do manage to eat a pasty each Saturday lunchtime. This is probably a tradition started on the mine in Zambia, when each Saturday one of the General Foremen, a Cornishman, would bring home-baked pasties for us hungry metallurgists.

No doubt delegates at this year's MEI conferences in Falmouth (www.min-eng.com/conferences) will wish to sample the local delicacies, but please take our advice on the best suppliers before making your purchase!

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