Arrivals & Departures World Pasty Championships cook up a taste of Cornwall

Photo of Gemma Nisbet

Creative flavours such as road kill and insects could be on show as Cornwall's favourite food is celebrated in March.

Traditionally eaten by the tin miners of Cornwall, the Cornish pasty has become one of England's best-known — and tastiest — culinary exports.

It'll be the star of the show at the World Pasty Championships at Cornwall eco-park Eden Project on March 2. 

Categories cater for professional, amateur and junior bakers, and include competitions for both traditional Cornish and non-traditional savoury pasties. 

The former must adhere to strict rules regarding the ratio of meat to potatoes and the pastry used — and must be made in Cornwall — but anything goes in the open savoury category, which in previous years has seen ingredients such as road kill and insects. 

Organisers said the event would welcome back some "stars of the pasty-making world" including returning champion Gillian Francis, a teaching assistant from St Cleer, Cornwall, who won the Cornish pasty amateur category at the 2018 competition after learning to crimp — the technique for sealing the edge of the pasty — only two weeks prior. 

Also returning will be Mike "The Pasty" Burgess, of Pure Pasty Co in Virginia in the US, who won last year's open savoury company category with a barbecue chicken pasty made with sweet potato, zucchini, red pepper, corn and pineapple.

For a second year running, the championships will be the finale of Cornish Pasty Week, which will begin on February 24. 

It'll include heats to find the world's fastest crimper, with the finale to be held at the championships on March 2. 

Fact File


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