The Curious Origin of Cornish Pasty Crusts
For some, our delicious crusts, hand crimped by our trained crimpers, are 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.
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, so the miners would eat the rest, discarding the crust. However Ainsley Cocks, from the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, argues this idea is “fanciful.” He says “They would have been wrapped in cloth, anyway. 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.”
Another explanation for pasty crusts is connected with ghosts known as ‘knockers’ or ‘bucca’, so called because they would be heard knocking to warn miners of potential dangers. Some miners believed if they treated them properly,perhaps by leaving them a pasty crust, they would help keep them safe Not too hard to believe if you’ve spent your life in the darkened depths of a mine.