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British History
British History
British History


A Short History of the Pasty

Did you know every time you bite into a pasty, you're taking a bite out of a part of food history that can be traced back to medieval times?


The traditional Cornish pasty finds its most prominent roots in the early 1860s in the tin mining county of Cornwall in England. 


The  "pasty" is also included in "The Cooks Tale," an unfinished chapter of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales which was penned in the 14th century.


The Cornish pasty we know today, however, was designed as a hearty meal on the go to keep up with the needs of the of the tin miners. The workers also used the baked-on handle (the crimp). It helped them hold the pasty whilst not getting hazardous materials, like the arsenic they used in the mines, on their lunch. (So much for dipping that crimp!) 


The officially Cornish pasty has a specific ingredient list. You'll find the original listed in our menu as the signature "Oggie" pasty.


As historians perused old Cornish cookery books they quickly discovered that many times a pasty's contents were solely based on whatever food was available.


So, could someone in 16th century Britain actually have experimented with the first Rabbit and Turnips or Crispy Toad pasty? We can't rule that out.


If you're bringing the kids by, schedule in some extra time on the bus to do an edible history lesson or school project. You'll be surprised how much they will remember as they experience a taste of British heritage!


Information adapted from Miners’ Delight: The History of the Cornish Pasty — History Channel. Read the complete article here:

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