Where to get a Cornish pasty?

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Jun 10th, 2004, 02:51 PM
  #1
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Where to get a Cornish pasty?

(The first one who says "Cornwall" will be baked in a 350° oven for 45 minutes.)

This trip, we're going from Harwich to London to Southampton and Salisbury. Any outstanding places around there? Oddly enough, the best one I ever had was at the BritRail buffet in Bristol. The ones in Penzance were so-so.
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Jun 10th, 2004, 11:06 PM
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There are two franchise chains which, while not up to the standards of my friend Roger's mum, are head and shoulders above the muck they sell in petrol stations.

The West Cornwall Pasty Co (www.westcornwallpasty.co.uk)has several branches in London, including most mainline stations - but not Waterloo or Liverpool St. They DO have a branch "landside" at Reading station (just show your ticket and they'll let you out and back in again). The Oggy Oggy chain is actually better, but its branches tend to be VERY out of the way, aren't listed on its website, and it may for all I know have been taken over.

If you like them, it's far better (and very easy)to make them yourself: the publicly-available product is rarely up to snuff, and even more rarely as good when you go back.

And forgive me for being tetchy. But there is not, and never has been, an organisation in Britain called BritRail. BritRail seems to be an American company, selling other people's railway tickets. It certainly doesn't operate buffets here.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 07:38 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Rob,

There is an excellent pasty shop across the street from the entrance to Cardiff castle.

I believe that they have been in business there for over 100 years.

Sorry, can't remember the name.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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Funny, flanneruk. I was going to mention the West Cornwall Pasty Co. at Marleybone train station, but since I had nothing with which to compare it, I didn't know if it would be considered rubbish. I thought it was pretty darn good.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 08:03 AM
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There are cornish pasty stalls (i don't remember the exact company names for those) at both King's Cross and Liverpool Street train stations. Of the two I think the one at Kings Cross has better quality food, but they're both decent.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 08:09 AM
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Would someone enlighten me as to what pasty is? Certainly you aren't all referring to those sticky things that take the place of a traditional bra when wearing a strapless evening gown?
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Jun 11th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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At what temperature is one baked if one suggests Tresco?
The landlady of a pub there makes wonderful pasties. They are delicious and also huge. Two of us had to share.
 
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Jun 11th, 2004, 08:20 AM
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A pasty is meat and vegetables cooked in pastry. They were "fast food" in Cornwall long before McDonalds. They're the same shape as a pizza calzone. The only way to discover what we're talking about is to try one for yourself.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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Statia:

There's a real risk your question will raise more heat than travellers' cheques, how to spell TCs, dress codes and tipping combined, but let's try...

Cornish pasties are pie-like concoctions, with a distinctive semicircular profile. These days, they're sold - or should be - stuffed with stewed skirt beef, potatoes, carrot and - essentially - turnip. Some shops sell all kinds of variants, but it's accepted none are canonical.

The excitement starts with the fact that the general explanation of them is to do with Cornish tin miners' wives making pies with savoury at one end and sweet at the other. The shape is supposed to be about resisting damage when the wives threw them down the mine.

Much blood has been spilled over whether the pastry should be flaky or shortcrust. The turnip is controversial - not least because the British can't agree on the use of the words 'turnip' and 'swede': the two words refer to different veg in different parts of the country.

Lastly - though doubtless some Cornishperson will emerge with another core theological issue - it's universally agreed that the product sold at every convenience store amnd petrol station, microwaved to the temperature (and flavour) of molten lead might be legally acceptable as a Cornish pasty, but is good only for stuffing skinny girls' bras.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 08:33 AM
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Thanks Geoff and flanneruk. Believe it or not, I actually know my way around the kitchen quite well, but this has been a new one on me. Probably because I haven't spent much time in the UK.

Sounds yummy! I'll have to be on the lookout for pasties now.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 08:38 AM
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Pasty"s are very much available here in Upper Michigan, they are virtually a staple food, with the meat, carrots, onions, potatoes and at times beggies within the crust. The main difference between ours and the cornish is I believe the cornish have suet pieces in their crust (which would make it superior), however cholesterol conscious folks had better stick with ours. Very much available here in Upper Michigan. halfpint.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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Doing a web search, the info is endless. Here are just a few sites

http://www.pastybakery.com/pasty.htm

http://www.cornwall-online.co.uk/history/pasty.htm

http://www.cornishlight.co.uk/00-5im...nish-pasty.jpg
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Jun 11th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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The Cove - West Cornwall Pasty Company, Covent Garden, London. Great pastry pies.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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Statia : I believe there is also a difference in pronounciation of the two...er...products that you describe. The edible kind are pronounced p'ass'ty with the 'ass' part pronounced the same as the word for donkey. The other kind rhymes with 'waste' with 'ie' at the end, and the only kind of the latter that I've seen had tassels at the end and we're definitely not hidden behind a strapless gown. But what do I know !
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Jun 11th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for the clarification, Mathieu. Don't you agree that it almost sounds a bit like good old Caribbean pastechis?
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Jun 11th, 2004, 09:59 AM
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Yes, Statia, absolutely.
Its funny how the same kind of foods have many versions all around the world, each one adapted to its location and culture, and delicious in its own right.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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Mathieu is correct about the pronunciation difference. Pasty is a short a; pastey or pastie-not sure how it's spelled, is a long a.

From my DH's cookbood "Great English Cooking-a well kept secret" by Jane Garmey---

Cornish pasties

Pastry rolled out like a plate
Piled with turmut, tates and mate,
Doubled up and baked like fate,
That's a Cornish Pasty.

In this book it claims they were taken to work by the miners in their pockets and eaten for lunch. It also says family members would put their initials in a corner when they were made so no one would steal a bite.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 01:03 PM
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The best pasty I've had was from a shop in East Looe whose sole product was freshly made and baked. Extra special when eaten on the breakwater on a warm fall day with a brew in the other hand.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 01:07 PM
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The WORST one we had was from a small take-away place in Tintagel - ironically in Cornwall. My husband was just saying last night (5 years after eating it) that he thinks part of it is still with him.
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Jun 11th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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I'd like to use this discussion to dispel a common myth.

It is widely believed that the "crust" by which a pasty is held was discarded by the tin miners who ate them as it contained toxins from the tin mine, such as arsenic. However, the poor miners would not throw away what was a perfectly edible piece of food, and ate it, no poisoning from this piece of pastry.
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