We recently ran a competition to win a copy of The Great Cornish Food Book, to enter you had to tell us what your favourite Cornish dish was and needless to say we were inundated with your suggestions!
We thought it would be a hard task to pick just one dish as a favourite so we’ve pulled together our top five favourites for you to enjoy all in one go!
1. The Cornish pasty
The Cornish pasty is regarded as the national dish of Cornwall. Unlike a Devonshire pasty, which is crimped on top and oval shape, the Cornish pasty is a D shape and crimped on the side. After a nine year campaign the Cornish pasty was awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) meaning any pasty prepared outside of the county cannot be deemed a proper ‘Cornish’ pasty.
– The Cornish word for pasty is ‘Oggy’. ‘Oggy, oggy, oggy. Oi, oi, oi’
– The world’s largest Cornish pasty was made in August 2010 measuring 4.6 metres and weighed 860kg. It was estimated to cost £7000 and contain 1.72 million calories!
– Side-crimped pasties were made for miners in the Cornish tin mines. It’s thought they would hold the thick crust, which was later discarded, to ensure his dirty arsenic fingers didn’t touch his food or mouth.
2. Cornish cream tea
The perfect combination of scone, jam and clotted cream.
In Cornwall, a cream tea used to be traditionally served with a slightly sweet bread roll, rather than a scone, however, it’s now rare to find this available commercially, unless you are in Cornwall. If you ask us, the scone is a mighty fine improvement.
Mussels are a member of the clam family and can be found along the Cornish coastline. Mussels can be smoked, boiled, steamed, roasted, barbecued or fried in butter or vegetable oil. In The Beach Hut we serve ours with a variety of delicious sauces with crusty bread, our favourite is white wine, garlic and shallots.
As with most other varieties of shellfish, mussels should be checked to ensure they are alive before they are cooked. A simple way to tell is that live mussels, when in the air, will shut tightly when disturbed. Open, unresponsive mussels are dead, and must be discarded.
4. Stargazy Pie
Sometimes called starrey gazey pie; it’s a Cornish pie made of baked whole pilchards, along with eggs, potatoes and covered with a pastry crust. The unique feature of stargazy pie are the fish head, and sometimes tails, protruding through the crust, so they appear to be gazing skyward. This allows for the oils released during cooking to flow back into the pie.
The pie originated from the fishing village of Mousehole and it’s thought to celebrate the courage of Tom Bawcock who braved particularly stormy seas in the 16th Century to feed the village who relied on fish as their primary source of food. Each year, on December 23rd, the Tom Bawcock’s Eve Festival is held in Mousehole, which sees villagers parading a huge stargazy pie through the town with a procession of lanterns before tucking in.
5. Wild strawberry frozen nougat
This is a recipe from The Great Cornish Food Book which set our mouths watering as soon as we saw the entry. It’s ingredients include Cornish double cream, Cornish strawberries and Cornish honey, making it a truly Cornish dessert.