For centuries, the pasty has held a special place in Cornish hearts and in Cornish culture. There is still a great deal of debate as to its true origins, but early references include a letter from a baker to Henry’s VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, that states, “hope this pasty reaches in better condition than the last one…”.There are also quotes in some of Shakespeare’s plays, including All’s Well That Ends Well: Act IV Scene III – PAROLLES: “I will confess to what I know without constraint: if ye pinch me like a pasty, I can say no more”.
The pasty is best known for evolving in the 1800s as a complete, hand-held, hot meal for Cornish tin miners. Mines often built large ovens on the surface to keep the pasties warm until it was time to eat. The shout ‘Oggie, Oggie, Oggie’ is said to originate from Cornish miners calling for their pasties (also known as oggies or tiddy oggies).
Variations of the pasty can be found throughout the UK and parts of the United States, Mexico, Argentina and Australia. But you know well, pasty lover, that a true Cornish pasty can only be made and baked the traditional way in Cornwall.