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In the Heart
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Cornwall: Present day
Cornwal Cottages: Black Head and Gribben Head
The headlands Drennick, Black Head and Gribben Head. Below right Stepper Point. Photos by Charles Winpenny.

Cornish Cottages: Stepper PointTourism in Cornwall began with the introduction of rail travel early in the C20th and has flourished ever since. Cornwall attracts millions of discerning visitors each year lured by the magnificent coastal scenery, the mild climate and the peace and tranquility.  Today, it offers it's distinctive character and very precious natural beauty, with many fabulous gardens, such as Eden and Trebah, now open to the public, along with attractions such as the Tate Gallery at St. Ives. Please see our comprehensive What to do page for more details

Cornish Cottages: Gorseth KernowGorseth Kernow
Gorseth Kernow exists to maintain the national Celtic spirit of Cornwall. They have a good website where you can learn about the origins of the Gorsedd, the purpose and significance of the ceremonies, annual competitions, links to organisations and the place of the Gorseth in contemporary Cornish society. They are active in promoting the study of literature, art, music and history; they encourage the study and use of the Cornish language; maintain and nurture links with other Celtic cultures; and provide a forum for all who work to further these aims. The Gorseth is non-political, non-religious, non-profit-making organisation. It exists solely to uphold the Celtic traditions of Cornwall and to honour men and women who have made outstanding contributions to Cornwall and its ancient culture, history and language. Right: Open Gorseth in Falmouth, 2000.

The Cornish Pasty
It was said that the Devil has never crossed the Tamar river into Cornwall because Cornish women will put everything and anything into a pasty – and he was afraid he would be included!
The Pasty and tin miners
It is said that the pasty originally evolved to meet the needs of tin mining – that great – but now sadly declined Cornish industry. The pasty was easy to carry, could be eaten with dirty fingers away from the arsenic, and was nourishing. Traditional pasties contained meat and vegetables in one end and jam or fruit in the other end, in order to give the hardworking men 'two courses'.
Knockers
This hearty meal wrapped in a pastry casing made for a very practical lunch (or "croust") down in the dark and damp tunnels of the mine. Cornish housewives also marked their mining husband's initials on the left-hand side of the pastry casing, in order to avoid confusion at lunchtime. This was particularly useful when a miner wished to save a 'corner' of his pasty until later, or if he wanted to leave a corner for one of the 'Knockers'. The Knockers were the mischievous 'little people' of the mines, who were believed by the miners to cause all manner of misfortune, unless they were placated with a small amount of food, after which they could prove to be a source of good luck.
Cornish Cottages: PastyWhat is a genuine Pasty?
There is a great deal of debate among pasty makers. Some feel that a pasty can only be made with short crust pastry, while others will advocate rough puff as the ideal. Some will claim that the ingredients must be mixed up inside the pastry, while others will swear that the fillings should be laid out in a particular order before the pasty is sealed. The issue that invites the most controversy involves the 'crimp', the wavy seam that holds the whole pasty together. Should the pasty be sealed across the top or at the side? History suggests that the crimp should be formed at the side, because the pasty has always been eaten by hand, and the side crimp is the most convenient way of holding onto your lunch while you take a big bite. There are, fortunately, some facts that can be agreed upon by all pasty-makers. The meat should be chopped, the vegetables should be sliced, and the ingredients must be raw when they are wrapped in the pastry. It is this fact that makes the Cornish Pasty unique amongst similar foods from around the world.

Links (and information for this page has come from these great sites):
Cornish Recipes: Not just the perfect Cornish Pasty, but Star Gazy Pie, Port Navas Oyster Soup, Marinated Pilchards, Saffron Cake, Cornish Mead … need we say more!
Pasty History The myths and legends …
For a lovely site supplying traditional and unique Cornish food and drink online click here.
Gorseth Kernow

Photos of Cornwall on this page by Charles Winpenny at Cornwall Cam


 

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