Pasty powered: Brits tuck into 120 million pasties each year

Pasty powered: Brits tuck into 120 million pasties each year.Pasty powered: Brits tuck into 120 million pasties each year.
Pasty powered: Brits tuck into 120 million pasties each year.
A staggering eight in ten Brits have been eating their pasties wrong, while a whopping 94 per cent don’t know exactly what vegetables go in them, according to new research by Cornish Pasty-maker Ginsters.

To help the nation get to know the iconic pastry a bit better, this Cornish Pasty Week, Ginsters and its resident pasty expert, Graham Cornish, shares fun facts and busts common misconceptions.

Baking an astounding 800,000 pasties a week, Ginsters delivers traditional Cornish Pasties to Brits all over the UK, celebrating Cornish heritage with every bake.

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Brits know less about pasties than they think: As a nation, we eat a whopping 120 million Cornish Pasties each year, yet new research from Cornish Pasty-maker Ginsters suggests over eight in ten (86%) Brits have been eating them completely wrong.

Despite nearly one in five (19%) Brits claiming to eat Cornish Pasties several times a month, only 16 percent know how they are made, and just one in 20 (6%) Brits know exactly what vegetables go in them. So, in celebration of Cornish Pasty Week (26th February - 3rd March 2024), Ginsters is lifting the lid on how much the nation actually knows, debunking some of the common myths and misconceptions about the pastry favourite in an effort to bolster the nation’s pasty knowledge.

The ins and outs of the Cornish Pasty.

When it comes to what’s inside a Cornish Pasty, more than half (51%) stated they believed carrots went inside the iconic regional pastry, while nearly one in ten (9%) incorrectly claimed leeks were a key ingredient in the traditional recipe. Clearing up the common misconception, Ginsters’ resident Cornish Pasty expert, Graham Cornish, said “when it comes to veg, traditional Cornish Pasties contain just swede, onions and potatoes. Carrots weren’t traditionally grown in Cornwall so were definitely not part of the original recipe!” Graham continues; “The traditional recipe calls for beef, however originally, Cornish Pasties were likely made with rabbit, as it was common and affordable at the time.”

You’re eating them wrong, aren’t you?

How Cornish Pasties should be eaten also seems to be a cause for debate. Nearly half (47%) claim to eat them vertically from one crimped edge to the other, meanwhile 14 percent of the nation eat the crimped side first, saving the filled pastry last. However, another 14 percent did get it right, as Graham describes, “the traditional way to eat a pasty is with the pasty held in a horizontal position and holding the crimp, starting with the filled pastry and working your way outwards. Back in the day, miners would traditionally throw out the crimped bit of the pastry, and mythical faeries known as ‘Cornish Knockers’ would come and eat the crimp when the miners weren’t looking!”

To crimp, or not to crimp?

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Crimping itself also appears to have Brits baffled. Ginsters’ survey found that nine percent of the nation believes pasties are crimped between five and ten times and nearly a quarter (24%) believe that it must be crimped by hand to be a Cornish Pasty. When asked about crimping, Graham, who has won several crimping competitions, states: “Traditionally, there are around 20 crimps in each pasty however there is no hard-and-fast rule. Cornish Pasty-makers usually recommend all pasties are hand crimped, but the Cornish Pasty Association says you can use a crimper depending on preference. For us, as we bake so many every day for the nation, it would be tricky to crimp them all by hand! The most important thing is that it is crimped at all: If it’s not crimped, it’s not Cornish”.

Sarah Babb at Ginsters says: “With over half a century’s experience in baking Cornish Pasties, every week is Cornish Pasty Week for us – so we’re pleased to celebrate with the nation and share our love of pasties! Over the years we’ve always put the effort in to producing great tasting Cornish Pasties that are true to tradition and use 100% British beef and locally sourced vegetables. We invite pasty lovers to taste the effort that goes into making our iconic pastry staple.”

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