Cornish pasty finds buttery love at French food expo

The Daily Mail in the UK reports that the Cornish pasty, the butter-crusted meat pie that followed its people to Great Lakes region of the United States, was the big hit at a French food festival.

The West Country staple was the surprise star of the renowned event in the city of Lorient in Brittany, which attracts 60,000 people including some of the continent’s top gastronomes and chefs.

The area’s leading newspaper, Le Telegramme, declared the humble pasty as ‘the revelation of the festival’.

The pasty is a popular food on northern Minnesota’s Iron Range and Copper Country of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Both places were settled by immigrants who came to mine the ores, and Cornish immigrants were often brought in to serve as leads and foremen because of their mining experience and English language.

The pasty made the perfect miner’s food because it could fit in a pocket, stay warm (or at least edible) and required no silverware.

The Browns came from Cornwall, and my high school band would make and sell pasties as a fundraiser every year. You cannot eat a pasty when you are on a diet. It is mostly butter and meat.

The pasty is a protected trademark of the Cornwall region, meaning that the European Commission authorized the following guidelines:

Official guidelines require that the pasties must be prepared in Cornwall, have a ‘D’ shape and be crimped on one side.

The rules also state the slow-baked pasty should have a ‘chunky filling’ of uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5 per cent) along with swede, potato, onion with a light seasoning and no additives or preservatives.

Pastry casing is golden in colour, glazed with milk or egg and ‘robust enough to retain its shape throughout the cooking and cooling process without splitting or cracking’.

(h/t David Leaver)


  1. So when is the Cornish Pasty go to make it to the Minnesota State Fair?
    It’s a long drive from Maple Grove to the range, let alone France.

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