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The Cornish Pasty

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Crantock Bakery - a visit
on Mon. 5th October 2009

 


Logo used with permission

Winner - Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year - 2008
Awarded at the prestigious Bakery Industry Awards
London, 15 September 2008

Not just Cornwall's Best but Britain's Best!

 

Crantock Bakery started making pasties in a butcher's shop in Crantock, near Newquay, in 1981 and is now located in a purpose-built site just off the A30 trunk road near Indian Queens, in mid-Cornwall. Crantock is named after St Carantoc, one of the Cornish saints, and is regarded as the patron saint of the Cornish pasty!

Pasties were made in Cornwall by the wives and mothers of the tin miners as a handy lunchtime meal. Bakers and butchers started making pasties in batches for sale locally and, nowadays, pasties are also made in bulk for distribution nationally and internationally.

 

Crantock Bakery's Anatomy of a Cornish Pasty - click this image to download the poster

Crantock Bakery's poster - The Anatomy of a Cornish Pasty
Click in the image to download the poster
Photo and download file kindly provided by Crantock Bakery


The homepage of The Cornish Pasty states that "more than 86 million Cornish Pasties are made each year in an industry that is worth more than 150 million to the local economy" - pasties are clearly important in the Cornish economy and the award-winning Crantock Bakery is at the forefront of the industry, with a capability to hand-crimp up to 80,000 pasties each day: on the day of my visit they were crimping about 60,000!

The pasties are blast-frozen for baking later and you may wonder where they all go - they go to various outlets from local shops to national chains like Oggy Oggy, Morrisons, Cornish Bakehouse, Cornish Kitchen, P&O Ferries and others. They also go to some EU countries.

My visit started with a discussion about aspects of pasty history, pasty literature and commercial pasty making. While I am obviously interested in ingredients my real interest was in how the pasties are hand-finished - i.e. the crimping!

Crimping seems to be a mystery to some if you search the internet and people have their own ideas. Many of us have watched Mother make pasties but perhaps never thinking that one day we would want to do it ourselves. Here is a photo of the professionals at work in the bakery .....


Crantock Bakery - one of the crimping lines

One of the crimping lines at Crantock Bakery
Photo kindly provided by Crantock Bakery 2009

 

And here is crimping in more detail .....

Crantock Bakery - crimping - 1

 

Crantock Bakery - crimping - 2

 

Crantock Bakery - crimping - 3 Crantock Bakery - crimping - 4

Photos of a pasty being crimped at Crantock Bakery
Photos kindly provided by Crantock Bakery
2009

 

A video of my amateur crimping can be seen here, but it pales into insignificance when compared to the professionals. Click on a photo below to see a short video of expert crimpers at work ..... you need to look closely because they don't take long!
 

Crantock Bakery - right-handed crimping
Plays for 15 seconds

Right-handed crimping steak pasties

Crantock Bakery - left-handed crimping
Plays for 9 seconds - watch closely!

Left-handed crimping steak pasties

 

A pair of left and right-hand crimped pasties .....

Left & right-hand crimped pasties pasties - note the roll of the crimped-up crust

Top: left-handed crimping
Below: right-handed crimping

 

You can usually set the media player on your computer to 'loop' or 'repeat' the video i.e. play it continuously until you cancel it. You can also set it to play in full screen mode by pressing F11 but remember to press F11 again for the normal view afterwards.

In case you didn't quite catch the crimping above, here is another lady crimping two cheese and onion pasties in 27 seconds .....

Crantock Bakery - right-handed crimping two pasties
Click photo to play the video

Right-handed crimping two cheese & onion pasties

 

 

Crantock Bakery pasty ranges - you need to check these out for yourself, don't rely on my favourites!

Besides the pasties, there are various rolls, pork pies, slices and tempting turnovers, as well as scones and one of my old Cornish favourites - heavy cake! (have you heard the tin miners joke?)

 

And, for a better idea of what is in some of the pasties etc .....
 

 

Crantock Bakery: Traditional Cornish pasty
Traditional Cornish Pasty
 
Crantock Bakery: Chicken pasty
Chicken Pasty
 
Crantock Bakery: Steak & Stilton pasty
Steak & Stilton Pasty
 
Crantock Bakery: Full English breakfast pasty
Full English Breakfast Pasty
 
Crantock Bakery: Beef Madras pasty
Beef Madras Pasty
 
Crantock Bakery: Cheese & onion pasty
Cheese & Onion Pasty
 
Crantock Bakery: Broccoli sweetcorn pasty
Broccoli & Sweetcorn Pasty
 
Crantock Bakery: Beef & cheese turnovers
Bacon & Cheese Turnovers
 
Crantock Bakery: Sausage roills
Sausage Rolls
 
Crantock Bakery: Pork pies
Pork Pies
 

Some of the pasties and other bakery products available from Crantock Bakery
Photos kindly provided by Crantock Bakery
2009

 

 

I tasted the Traditional Cornish Pasty, Beef & Stilton Pasty, Cheese & Onion Pasty, Bangers & Mash Pasty, Chicken Tikka Pasty and a Pork Pie - and I'm glad I did, it gives you an appreciation of what is possible in a pasty.

All I can say is "Long live The Cornish Pasty"

 

Acknowledgements: I (KR) am grateful to Catherine Webster (Marketing Manager) and Jim Michell (Barefoot Media) for arranging the visit and their hospitality on the day, Sarah Scott (Technical & Quality Manager) for the tour of the bakery, Becky Hornabrook (New Product Development Manager) for arranging the pasty tasting session(!) and the ladies on the crimping lines for putting up with some eejit trying to film their fast-moving hands .......

Again, many thanks to Crantock Bakery from The Cornish Pasty

 

Celtic spiral animation