Kathy Kendall is both a dedicated travel blogger and pasty lover. Here she shares her love of Cornish foods:
Cornish holidays have always been popular, but it is often the food as opposed to its many other charms that it best remembered for. From the Cornish pasty to its decadent fudge, Cornish food has made its way across the UK and, in some cases, even the world. But what are the very best of Cornwall’s edible exports, and which would make the best presents to treat-deprived friends and relatives upon your return (provided they survive the journey)? I’m glad you asked…
- Cornish pasty
The pasty is arguably one of Cornwall’s most iconic foodstuffs. A pastry case filled with meat and vegetables, a traditional Cornish pasty is usually comprised of beef, turnip, potato and onion; indeed, the dish has also been awarded Protected Geographical Indication status. While today a Cornish pasty must be crimped on one side in order to be known as such, some maintain that it is more authentic for pasties to have a top crimp. There are a number of superstitious related to pasties, while the popular chant “Oggy Oggy Oggy Oi Oi Oi” and “Munch On!” are said to be referring to them.
- Cornish fairing
“Fairing” originally referred to the edible treats traditionally sold at fairs, but these days it usually refers to a kind of traditional Cornish ginger biscuit (or at least it does in Cornwall!). During the 1800s they became well known as gifts of affection bought by middle or lower class young men for their sweethearts. Perhaps the most famous manufacturer of fairings was Furniss Foods, a company that was founded in 1886 by John Cooper Furniss (or rather this is when he first began selling fairings in his tea room in Truro), the company even recently teaming up with celebrity chef Rick Stein. Fairings are a great accompaniment for curling up in a Cornwall cottage with a good book.
- Stargazy pie
Stargazy pie is one of Cornwall’s more interesting-looking dishes, and is essentially a fish pie with a twist: the fish themselves (usually pilchards) must have their heads poking out through the crust of the pie. Although practically this was done to ensure that the oil remained into the pie, thus ensuring that it was moist and flavourful, the appearance of the fish gazing skywards is what gives this pie its name. Historically, the pie is served to celebrate the bravery of Mousehole fisherman Tom Bawcock, who went out in dangerously stormy weather in order to catch enough fish to feed the starving village. The pies made as a result were baked with the heads of the catch poking out of the crust to prove that there was indeed fish in them.