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The Curious Origin of Cornish Pasty Crusts

The Curious Origin of Cornish Pasty Crusts


For some our delicious crusts, hand crimped by our trained crimpers is the best part of a Cornish pasty but it’s hotly debated as to why this traditional Cornish treat had a crust in the first place.Vegetarian Cornish pasty from Warrens Bakery

The Handle Theory
After a heavy day in the mines, the crust protected the rest of the Cornish pasty from arsenic and other chemicals used in the mines. Ainsley Cocks, from the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, debates, argues this idea is “fanciful.” He says “They would have been wrapped in cloth, anyway. But these were very poor people, so throwing away good food for that reason… I’m not sure they would have been able to justify that.”

The Ghost Theory
Another explanation for pasty crusts is to do with a type of ghosts encountered within the mines known as  ‘knockers’ or ‘bucca’. Apparently they would be heard knocking to warn miners of potential dangers, such as loose panels. If treated correctly, they would look after workers, who could appease them with a morsel of food – perhaps the crust. Not too hard to believe if you’ve spent your life in the darkened depths of a mine.

So what do you think? A handle or a gift for the spirits? And more importantly, what do you do with yours?