The pasty is a symbol of Cornwall,
England. Some Cornish families can trace their ancestry
through their pasty recipes. No one knows for sure whether
the Cornish invented the pasty, or whether they picked
it up from some other group. Some think that the Vikings
may have brought the pasty to the British Isles when
they invaded. Another tradition is that it was derived
from the Italian pasta, since the Cornish were known
to be skilled seamen. But the first written references
to the pasty attributes it to the region of Cornwall,
The pasty became a staple of Cornish
miners for many reasons. The traditional pasty was a
complete meal in itself, consisting of meat, potatoes,
onion, and seasoning, all wrapped in a bread crust.
A miner who left home with a hot pasty in his pocket
could reach in every now and then to warm his hands.
Also importantly, the tin mines contained arsenic and,
with the pasty, an advantage was that the miner could
hold the pasty by its thick crust, throwing it away
after the body of the pasty was eaten.
The Cornish pasty has become commercialized
in Cornwall, England. With a market unprepared to pay
the price of a decent pasty, it has been flooded with
cheap pasties for a mass tourist market.
2003, 2004 Ken Anderson. All rights reserved.