Could pasty revelations trigger civil war?
London is credited with being the birthplace of many things, including bucks fizz, the jigsaw puzzle, dubstep, Cockney rhyming slang, and roller skating.
These are all tremendous innovations and their legacies will undoubtedly change the course of human history, if they haven’t already.
But can London count a further creation among its wonders?
Enter the Cornish pasty.
Careful now – the origins of the pastry-encased meat and potato dish is already hotly contested.
In 2006, a small war almost broke out between the neighbouring counties of Devon and Cornwall after records of pasties in Plymouth (that’s in Devon), were found dating the tasty food-stuffs back to 1509. It’s no secret that the two pasty-worshipping regions are arch enemies, and a Cornish historian immediately hit back with evidence that cave paintings “from primitive times” depict pasties in Cornwall as long ago as 8,000 BC. No, we are not making this stuff up.
The old tale goes that Cornish tin miners were sent off down the tin mines with pasties so they could eat them with their dirty hands holding onto the crust and not sullying the rest of the food.
But now, this narrative is being called into question by historian Peter Brears, who clearly has a nose for a scandal.
Brears claims not only that the term ‘Cornish pasty’ originates in London, but that it was a middle class invention. If that is not kicking the proverbial hornets’ nest, then we don’t know what is.
Brears claims that pasties had been made across Britain since medieval times and that the name ‘Cornish’ pasty was coined in London as recently as the 19th century.
Apparently it was used “as a technique for using up the end of the joint in middle class homes”.
Speaking to the BBC, Brears said: “These are the first Cornish pasties to be published with the title as ‘Cornish pasties’. They are only a couple of inches long. But [they are]unlike most of the original Cornish pasties from Cornwall, which didn’t contain meat, because people couldn’t afford it.”
This will undoubtedly be a lot of serious information for readers to take in and react to. LondonLovesBusiness is calling for calm in the wake of the revelations.
Anyway, must dash, we’re just off to buy a London pasty.