There is so much to know about the pasty – an iconic part of the culture, heritage and economy of Cornwall. We’ve dug out a few of our favourite facts…
At least 120 million Cornish pasties are made each year.
Cornish Pasty producers generate around £300m worth of trade for the Cornish economy. (This is around 20% of the total turnover of Cornwall’s food and drink sector).
Pasties are the mainstay of the bakers’ shops found in virtually every village and every high street in Cornwall.
The familiar ‘Oggy, oggy, oggy’ chant is said to have originated from pasty sellers or tin miners’ wives announcing the arrival of their freshly baked wares. The traditional acknowledgment was ‘Oi, oi, oi’.
Crib and croust are Cornish words for a snack or a bite to eat – traditionally, and still today, the pasty is the favourite choice for crib or croust.
At least 2000 people work in pasty production. Many of these jobs are year-round, full time, permanent jobs – a bonus in a seasonal economy like Cornwall’s.
The popular cut of beef used in a Cornish pasty is skirt – a long, flat, boneless piece from the diaphragm muscle, prized for its flavour.
Pasty makers spend at least 25% of their turnover within the local economy; as much as £15m is paid to Cornish farmers for ingredients for pasties, equivalent to over 5% of the total farmgate value of Cornwall’s farm produce.
Pasties made in Cornwall are transported every day, chilled or frozen, to destinations all over Britain and across the world.
Pasty production also sustains other local service industries such as engineers and transport.
Crimping is the technique of sealing the pasty and is still done by hand in the vast majority of pasty bakeries.
A skilled crimper will crimp on average 3 or 4 pasties a minute, although 7 pasties a minute has been known.
If a pasty is crimped by a left-hander it is called a cock pasty. Right-handed crimpers make hen pasties.