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Glanvillia, Saint John, Dominica
i am a mom/wife/textile designer gone haywire. I love to sing(music/arts AA degree), craft, exercise, and be goofy. Just living life outside the norm. And the norm thanks me for it. Oh yeah, and I like me some haikus. . . . . . . . . . What are we up to currently? Aaron recently started medical school at Ross University on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, and the kids and I are along for the crazy ride :)

Ze Cornish Pasty

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

lame title- just go with it.
I brought my leftovers with me to my conducting class a few weeks ago for lunch and although I was a little embarrassed to heat up this visually unappetising  mass of aromatic food in the company of my classmates, I was not ashamed enough to refrain.  mmmmm it was sooo good... turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, gravy all muddled together in a heap of unabashed culinary glory..... oh man... the redolent thanksgiving aroma made my classmates drool.  Ed, the professor, (and yes, we called him Ed- the adept Edmund Hughes, conductor extrordinare) took a reluctant look at the contents of my tupperware and asked "What IS that?"

"It's a Cornish Pasty.  From the Cornish Pasty Company"

"What's the Cornish Pasty Company?" he asked

There were gasps from around the room and then everyone came in at once with "You've never heard of the Cornish Pasty Company?" and "Ohhh it's soo goood!" and "You HAVE to go the Cornish Pasty Company"

Well, to tell the truth, I had never been to the Cornish Pasty Company before I got my turkey dish and was quite surprised that so many people knew about it.  I guess I became cool when I went.  Who knew?  I just thought it was yummy.

Would you like me to tell you about the Cornish Pasty Company?  No?  ok.

ohhh wait... you would?  it's hard for me to tell through this computer screen. you're gonna have to think louder than that if you want me to hear you.

A Cornish Pasty is made from pastry dough, and should be shaped like a ‘D’ and crimped on one side, not on the top. It should include beef, swede (called turnip in Cornwall), potato and onion, with a light seasoning of salt and pepper - keeping a chunky texture. The pastry should be golden and retain its shape when cooked and cooled. The pasty has been described as a "functional food" as it appears to be designed with the purpose of being easily carried, retains its heat for a long time and can be eaten with the hands.  There are many recipes for pasties these days but they for the most part stick to meat, potatoes, vegetables, and gravy.

History of the Cornish Pasty (pronounced past-y not like tooth paste, but like something happened in the past)  The exact origins of the pasty are unclear, despite the modern pasty's strong association with Cornwall (located in the south west tip of Great Brittain). It became popular in Cornwall during the 17th and 18th centuries, where tin miners and other workers adopted it due to its unique shape, forming a complete meal that can be carried easily and eaten without cutlery.  Side-crimped pasties gave rise to the suggestion that the miner might have eaten the pasty holding the thick edge, ensuring that his dirty fingers (possibly including traces of arsenic) did not touch food or his mouth. Other theories suggest that miners ate the pasty from end to end, and the earliest Cornish recipe book, printed in 1929, claims that "the true Cornish way" to eat a pasty is from end to end, so that any uneaten portion could be saved for later. Any excess pastry from a miner's pasty might sometimes have been left for the knockers, capricious spirits in the mines who might otherwise lead miners into danger. There is also a humorous belief that the pastry on a good pasty should be strong enough to withstand a drop down a mine shaft. The pasty's dense, folded pastry could stay warm for 8 to 10 hours.
Traditional bakers in former mining towns will still bake pasties with fillings to order, marking the customer's initials with raised pastry. This practice was started because the miners used to eat part of their pasty for breakfast and leave the remainder for lunch; the initials enabled them to find their own pasties.

Want to eat one?  A really yummy one?  in a hip dig?  Yes I just said that. don't mock me.  it really was a cool place- A place where they want you to think that they're not trying to be cool- that it just happened naturally, but oh boy are they trying.  Just like we all are, right? ;)

Yeeeaaaahhhhh... anyway... 

We had fun with Hipstmatic again.. sorry all you who like clear pictures.  We're just weird like that.
 We love the vintage.  the imperfect.  the quirky. the artsy.

 The bar..
oh wait- i didn't mean to say we like the bar.  I just meant "here's the bar."  that's it, I swear.

 We sat European style (no seperation of parties.  You're next to whoever is at the table... see the guy behind the menu in that picture down there? He was next to Meg- I think he didn't want me to take his picture.... hmmm... ...nah. I bet he loved it.  I wish he had moved that menu though- it kept getting in the way of his face. he has a lot to learn about modeling.
 We had these wicked awesome candles to kind of seperate the two families at the table.  i'm full of fun adjectives today.

 Oh ha- heres the other "try for a cool menu picture" picture. You can't see the menu but my eye looks sweet.  I'm a cyborg.

 My yummy food- The Pilgram: roasted turkey/chicken, sweet potatoes, grilled onions and stuffing.  Served with red wine gravy and cranberry sauce. Wow. It was spectacular.  I have to say, though, that it was even better as leftovers- all of the flavors melded together. wow.  i kind of wish I had eaten less at the restaurant so that I'd have more left over. It was delectable.

My food AND my family.  It doesn't get better than this.

One of our desserts.... caramel apple cinnimon pasty served hot with icecream. It made our eyes pop out and and our tummies say "howdy" (If you don't get the reference it's ok.  I'm just that wierd anyway)
The Apple Caramel was actually a dessert appetiser because they put the wrong dessert on our ticket- so they just gave us the wrong one and said "the right one will be out soon."
The right dessert was a peanut butter jelly and banana pasty with heavy whipped cream. ruh? yup. it was yummy :)

 Oh, I forgot to mention how hip the set up was- all the benches were restored church pews and the patio had booths and tables and curtains as if it were inside.  The only lighting was those wine bottle candles.   You can see two ppl at their table outside the window in this pic... (wow, this picture totally looks like it was captured in the 70's and not just because of the hipstamatic finish)

Did I mention that the candles were the only lighting?  It was pretty dark in there... I loved it.  Who wants to see their food?  pshaw. totally overrated.
 Not this dark, but you get the picture.

Go visit the Cornish Pasty Company- it is a delectably eccentric experience and you'll love it!


Brittney said...

That looks so unbelievable unappealing to me right now. But I am obviously broken right now. And regularly I love to cook dinner inside of pastry dough with the end result looking very similar to that. Glad you had fun! Sounds like a place we would like too. We'll have to check it out a month or two! ;)

Brenden+Nikki said...

We totally love cornish pasties too! Except the last time I ate there was when I was sick after our Thanksgiving vacation and after eating there with family I went home and promptly threw up. I haven't been back since. But it's totally not the pasty's fault. It was good while I was eating it. We even got the Peanut Butter and Jelly one for Collin. Those things are awesome.

peachytiffers said...

only the top half of your pics are showing up on my screen. weird. that place has been on my list to go to for a while now. i've heard amazing things. haven't tried it yet. lady- it's right by our house!!!! btw- you not on twitter anymore or something? i actually tried to give it a real go this time!

Stephanie Shumway (and family) said...

sheeeoot- whats with all the patsy haters? LOL Yeah, I can totally sympathize with you guys- I used to gag when I'd even just smell pot pies but then I got over it and they're one of my faves. Tiff- Yup i gave up social networking sites aka facebook and twitter. Just be sure to visit me on my blog slash public journal slash food review :)