Based on the commonly available ingredients found in the South West of England, real Cornish food is unique and delicious. With the region being known for its unfortunate soil conditions, many of their traditional dishes rely on dairy ingredients rather than agricultural resources. Seafood delights are also common – with fresh fish available in abundance off Cornwall’s extensive coastline.
This lunchtime dish has to be one of the most iconic Cornish foods you’ll come across. Produced from short crust pastry, it is filled with onions, potatoes, swede and uncooked beef before being baked. The Cornish pasty is associated with local miners who would carry these delicacies down the mine to eat whilst at work.
Yarg is a type of cheese made in Cornwall, produced from Friesian cow’s milk. It is most famous for its protective outer coating of nettles, which was original wrapped around the cheese for protection but has become led to the addition of flavour. The nettle leads to a harmless grey mould which can be eaten, and again adds flavour to the cheese. Its texture is crumbly in the middle and creamy on the outer edges.
Cornish fairings are a type of ginger cookie, much like gingerbread, that were originally sold at fairs across the county. Modern day versions of this biscuit include other flavourings such as saffron or almond. They can also be topped with marzipan or icing to add to the sweet taste and make they more decorative too.
This is a form of traditional Cornish fish pie, in which small breeds of fish are baked such as sardines. Seafood can also be enjoyed in a Stargazy, with langoustine being a favourite – often arranged with their heads poking out the pie crust lid, so they appear gazing at the sky. The pie also has mustard, eggs, onions and bacon inside. The Stargazy pie is mentioned in the popular children’s book ‘The Mousehole Cat’, set in the picturesque Cornish fishing village of ‘Mousehole’.
This Cornish bun is produced with yeast, and sycamore leaves used to bake them in and then are covered with sugar. These sweet buns are usually enjoyed at festive occasions, particularly Christmas, although can be found in many a Cornish baker’s all year round.
This popular dairy product is an essential of the Cornish cream tea. Made from unpasteurised milk which is heated with steam and left to cool, allowing the clots to form. This chick cream has highly fatty, best enjoyed with scones and jam.
Also known as the Heavy Cake, this Cornish dish is linked to the fishing industry of the county. It is made by mixing together flour, lard, sugar and butter before adding milk and raisins to form a dough. It is rolled around half-inch thick and has a criss-cross pattern stamped on top to resemble the fishermen’s nets.
Jane Carter is a food and lifestyle blogger who recently enjoyed the delights of Cornish cuisine on holiday in Hetel near Eden Project in Cornwall.