Cornwall, Food

4 Facts About the Cornish Pasty

Everyone knows that a Cornishman’s blood is made up of Cornish pasties and scones, jam and clotted cream. So if you’re visiting Cornwall you definitely need to scoop up one of these tasty treats.

Here are some facts you may not know about the Cornish Pasty!

Protected Status

The traditional Cornish pasty has had Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in Europe since 2011. This gives the Cornish Pasty legal protection and stops awful, inferior products being passed off as a ‘Cornish Pasty’.

While you cannot make a genuine pasty outside of Cornwall, UK it doesn’t mean you cannot buy one outside of the UK. Thousands of pasties are sent all over the UK, with them sometimes being prepared and baked in Cornwall, or prepared in Cornwall and then baked in the final destination.

One great thing to do if you’re visiting from elsewhere in the UK is buying frozen pasties from a bakery and then taking these home with you!

Oggy Oggy Oggy

‘Oggy! Oggy! Oggy!’ ‘Oi! Oi! Oi!’ is a sporting chant of Cornish origin. One group shouts ‘Oggy’ three times, while another group responds by shouting ‘Oi!’ three times.

Oggy is a slang term for a pasty, which is derived from the Cornish name for the pasty – ‘hoggan.’

Supposedly the chant ‘Oggy Oggy Oggy’ was shouted by tin-miners’ wives or local pasty sellers. Any hungry tin miner or labourer would shout ‘Oi!, Oi!, Oi!’.

The chant is also the chorus of a folk song that is frequently heard at Cornish rugby matches.

Meal in One!

One traditional form of the Cornish pasty included a sweet filling at one end. You would have the standard savoury filling in one end, and then the other end would be a sweet filling made of fruit or jam.

This makes it a full meal in one!

The First Convenience Food?

The Cornish pasty may have been the first convenience food as it is a handy, transportable meal for a hungry tin-miner.

It contains relatively cheap ingredients such as potatoes, onion and swede. Now meat is included as people became bigger eaters of meat.

Cornish mining made the pasty an important part of Cornish life. The food was taken into the mines by both the adults and children working there.

The shape and size of the pasty made it ideal for carrying, and became a staple for ‘crib’.

The crust was also used as a handle for the miners – who would usually have dirty, grubby hands. After the filling was eaten the crust would then be discarded.

Homemade Pasty

Those are just a few facts about one of my favourite foods, the Cornish pasty. What’s your favourite food?

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