Home » Advice » What Really Goes in a Cornish Pasty?


Cornish pastys (PAST-ies. I heard some American tourists pronouncing it PASTE-ie once) are known throughout the UK and are a staple of a family holiday in Cornwall. But what should really go in a Cornish pasty?

A friend of mine remains adamant that a pasty should never contain carrots, and if it does, it’s definitely not a Cornish pasty. Yet I have had pasties with carrots in advertised as traditional Cornish pasties.

Of course, this friend also maintained that he was a train which people followed to the pub whenever he blew a whistle, so who’s going to believe anything he says?

Throughout the history of Cornwall though, pasties have had whatever was available stuffed in them. You can’t be picky about what you eat when you have to go and mine tin every day! This even resulted in a little piece of folklore claiming that the Devil would never cross the Tamar (the river that marks the Cornish border) for fear he’d be placed in a pasty himself.

This seemed to lose its truth at some point, and for a while all you could buy was one of the many forms of the ‘Traditional Cornish Pasty’, Cheese and Onion pasties, or, occasionally, a steak pasty.

Now though, with shops that sell pasties and nothing else, we’re getting back to being able to shove anything in them. Spicy chicken pasties, chickpea and lentil pasties, pork and apple pasties, I even had a chocolate and banana pasty a few weeks ago, but then I went to a funfair and it, combined with the rides, made me feel a bit ill.

So, anything can go in a pasty, it seems, as long as it stays edible. Why not book a stay in one of the self catering cottages in Cornwall and see what recipes you can make whilst there? Book a Christmas holiday and have mince pasties instead of pies.

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