For pasty lovers the Eden Project located near St Blazey in Cornwall was the place to be last Saturday. Hosting the World Pasty Championships for the ninth time, the hotly-contested competition attracted entries from bakers, professional and amateur, young and old alike. A panel of around 40 judges had the task of munching their way through nearly 200 pasties.
Cornwall’s famous export has moved on a tad since it was the staple fare of miners in the area. A proper pasty could withstand a plummet down a mineshaft and the pastry rim was designed to give the hungry miner something to hold on to while he wolfed it down. Given his hands were grimy with coal dust it is unlikely he ate that bit. Trendy pasties come with an array of fillings, not just the meaty gristle and potatoes that Cornish shopkeepers delight in selling to emmets.
Take the winner of the Open Savoury Company category, Rowe’s Cornish Bakery. Their winning entry was a chicken, leek, potato and onion pasty whilst Nick Brown from Liskeard won the Open Savoury competition for Professionals with a ham hock, cheddar and apple chutney affair. Jan Micallef from Sheffield was even more adventurous, winning the Amateur Open Savoury competition with a goat’s cheese, pear, shallot and walnut pasty.
For the record, The Phat Pasty Company from Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire won the Pasty Company award, David Timmins from St Columb’s Road in Cornwall the Cornish Pasty Professional prize for the third time, and eight-year-old Daisy Lovejoy from Plymouth, whose speciality is a lasagne pasty, won the junior crown. And fastest crimper? That honour went to Jonathan Roseyear from Foxhole.
There’s more to a pasty than meat and two veg, it would seem.