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The Great Cornish Pasty – Yummy!!

May 7, 2014
Falmouth, Cornwall

If you are coming to visit The Rathgowry Guesthouse in Falmouth, Cornwall, then you will almost certainly treat yourself to one of the towns delicious Cornish Pasties.

So, whilst you are sitting by the harbour trying to avoid the seagulls from stealing your tasty pasty, consider these interesting facts as you chew!

The Cornish Pasty is worth £150 million pounds a year to the Cornish economy.  Holiday makers eat over 5 million of them – that’s an average of 13,500 a day!!

The term “Cornish pasty” has been given protected status by the European Commission.  This means that only pasties made in Cornwall from a traditional recipe can now be called “Cornish Pasties”.

The pasty’s first known association stems from the 1800s when it evolved to meet the needs of the Cornish tin miners.  The pasty was a complete hand held hot meal (often half savory and half sweet) usually consisting of meat, potato, onion and swede in one end and fruit in the other end – all in a pasty casing.

Cornish Tin Miners Pasty_Falmouth

Popular fillings down the years have included egg and bacon, rabbit, apples, figs, jam, egg and currents.  However fish has never been regarded as an appropriate pasty filling.

 Miners often built large ovens on the surface to keep the pasties warm until it was time to eat.  The shout of “oggie, oggie, oggie’ is said to originate from Cornish miners calling for their pasties (also know as oggies or tiddy oggies). 

An Oggy is a slang term for the Cornish Pasty derived from its Cornish name ‘hoggan’.

 A good pasty was thought to be strong enough to drop unharmed down a mineshaft.

 The thick crimped edges were originally for miner to hold the pasty whilst eating in order to avoid being poisoned by the arsenic sometimes found on their fingers.  This crimping was then left for the mischievous ‘knockers’ (ghosts) which were said to exist down the mines.

Cornish Pasty Crimp_Falmouth




A Cornish pastys crimp runs along the side and a Devon pasty on the top.

Devon Pasty Crimp_Falmouth







Fishermen never took a pasty on board a ship for fear of bad luck.

 The word pasty comes from a middle English word meaning made of paste (pastry).

 Did you know that when the Cornish rugby team plays an important match, a giant Cornish pasty is symbolically hoisted over the bar before the start of the game?

The world record for the largest Cornish pasty was made in August 2010 by a team of bakers from Bodmin in Cornwall.  It weighed a massive 1900lbs and contained roughly 360lbs of beef; 180lbs of swede; 100lbs of potatoes and 75lbs of onions.  It took over 11 hours to cook and had a whopping 1,750,000 calories! 

Bodmin Pasty



Whoops – there goes the diet!!


Well, if you enjoyed this little blog and it has made you feel hungry, then go straight to The Rathgowry Guesthouse bookings page or call us on 01326 313482 to book your stay with us in Falmouth Cornwall – we are just a ten minute walk to your nearest pasty shop!!

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