Cross the border into Cornwall and you won’t ever be too far from a proper Cornish pasty.
The iconic pastry is a staple among visitors and locals alike, and one of the county’s most fiercely-protected exports. In fact, it’s so precious to the region’s heritage, it’s even got legal protected status!
But, regardless of the quantity of Cornish pasties on offer, it’s also about quality – and not all Cornish pasties are created equal. While they all have the same ingredients (beef, onions, potatoes and swede – all seasoned with salt and pepper), the debate continues over which bakeries offer the best ones.
For the last decade, there’s even been a whole competition dedicated to finding out the answers, in the form of the annual Cornish Pasty Championships at the Eden Project.
So, as a bucket list must-have when booking your holiday to Cornwall, how do you know what to look for? Here, we’ve highlighted the key things you need to know.
Taste and flavour
What sets a good Cornish pasty apart from its competitors is the perfect balance of flavours and textures. Look for tender chunks of beef (minced is fine, too), combined with the tang of onions and the earthiness of potatoes and swede, for a harmonious blend that tantalises the taste buds.
Your pasty should be baked to golden perfection, with a satisfying crunch and a buttery richness that enhances the overall experience. The result? Every bite should be a delightful symphony of savoury goodness.
Most importantly, though, don’t forget to look for the perfectly-crimped edge along the side – none of this square bake nonsense for the true pasty connoisseur!
Know your history
There’s a reason the Cornish are so protective of their pasties, and it’s because this beloved pastry also comes with a rich past.
Dating back to the 13th century, pasties were the original food of miners. As a convenient and nourishing meal that could be carried and consumed without cutlery, it was easy to eat no matter where you were or what you were doing.
In fact, the crimped edge was more than just for aesthetics – it also served as a practical handle for miners to hold onto while eating, so they didn’t have to wash their hands.
What makes a Cornish pasty ‘Cornish’
When we said the Cornish pasty was legally-protected, we weren’t kidding. To call this baked good a ‘Cornish’ pasty, there are some rules that must be followed – otherwise, it doesn’t count.
Firstly, a Cornish pasty must be made in Cornwall, even if it’s then frozen and baked out-of-county (many are made in Cornwall and then exported across the UK – and you can even send pasties by post!). However, it also must adhere to the traditional recipe, with no add-ons, to only include:
• Roughly diced or minced beef
• Sliced or diced potato
• Swede (turnip)
• Seasoning to taste (salt and pepper)
The ingredients need to be uncooked when the pasty is assembled and should be baked in a savoury pastry (such as shortcrust, puff or rough puff), which is strong enough to hold all the ingredients without cracking or breaking.
Finally, the pasty must be crimped into a D shape, with the crimp towards one side, and glazed with milk, egg or both, before being slowly baked to combine and release all the lovely flavours.
Now you know what to look for, we wanted to highlight some of the best pasties in Newquay, so you can dive straight in when you get here.
While each offers the same product, we love how slightly different every bakery does it – and, don’t forget, you can ask a member of our staff for their favourite recommendations, too, when you stay at Lewinnick Lodge.
Book your Cornish adventure
There’s nothing more Cornish than a cliff-side retreat, just footsteps from some of the county’s most stunning beaches. So, why not book your Cornish getaway with a luxury stay at Lewinnick Lodge?
From learning how to unwind and switch off from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to making the most of every Cornwall has to offer (including Cornish pasties), our accommodation is completely designed with your comfort and well-being in mind.
Ready to get started? Book your stay today for the perfect Cornish escape.