What is the Cornish National Dish? A Delicious Insight into Cornish Gifts - Tin Coast Treats

What is the Cornish National Dish? A Delicious Insight into Cornish Gifts

What is the Cornish National Dish? A Delicious Insight into Cornish Gifts


Cornwall, a beautiful county in the southwest of England, is known for its stunning coastline, picturesque villages, and rich Celtic heritage. But there's another thing that makes Cornwall truly special - its food. The Cornish national dish is a culinary delight that has been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for centuries. In this blog post, we delve into the heart of Cornwall's gastronomic culture to discover what the Cornish national dish is and how it has become one of the most popular Cornish gifts.

The Iconic Cornish Pasty

When you think of Cornwall, one food item immediately springs to mind - the iconic Cornish pasty. This hearty, hand-held pie is the undisputed national dish of Cornwall. The traditional Cornish pasty has a distinctive 'D' shape and is crimped on one side. It's filled with beef skirt, potato, swede (also known as yellow turnip or rutabaga), and onion, all encased in a golden pastry crust.

The History of the Cornish Pasty

The origins of the pasty can be traced back hundreds of years to Cornwall’s mining heritage. Miners needed a substantial meal that was easy to carry and could be eaten without cutlery - hence the birth of the pasty. The thick crimped edge served as a handle which could be discarded after eating to avoid contamination from dirty hands.

Over time, this humble miner’s lunch evolved into an emblematic symbol of Cornwall’s culinary tradition. In 2011, it was granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status by the European Commission. This means that only pasties made in Cornwall following traditional methods can be called ‘Cornish Pasties’.

The Cornish Pasty as a Gift

Today, the love for this delicious pastry extends far beyond the borders of Cornwall. It's not uncommon for visitors to take home a Cornish pasty as a souvenir or gift. In fact, Cornish pasties have become one of the most sought-after Cornish gifts, with many bakeries offering special gift packs for tourists.

There are even companies that deliver frozen pasties nationwide, allowing you to enjoy this Cornish delicacy wherever you are in the country. A box of authentic Cornish pasties makes a unique and thoughtful gift for food lovers, offering them a taste of Cornwall’s rich culinary heritage.

Other Traditional Cornish Foods

While the pasty may be the star of the show, there are other traditional Cornish foods that deserve a mention. Cream teas, saffron buns, and clotted cream fudge are all part of Cornwall’s gastronomic landscape.

Cornwall is also famous for its seafood, thanks to its extensive coastline. Stargazy pie is another traditional dish that features pilchards (or sardines) baked in a pie crust with their heads poking out, as if gazing at the stars.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the national dish of Cornwall is undoubtedly the beloved Cornish pasty. Its rich history and delicious taste make it an integral part of Cornwall's identity. Whether you're visiting Cornwall or looking for unique Cornish gifts to send to loved ones, you can't go wrong with this tasty treat.

So next time you're in Cornwall or ordering online, why not try an authentic Cornish pasty? Not only will you be enjoying a delicious meal but also participating in a centuries-old tradition that celebrates Cornwall's rich cultural heritage.
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