Ann’s Pasty Shop has been the place of our pasty pilgrimage for a number of years now and this year we had purposefully decided to choose a campsite within spitting distance so we could maximize our intake.
Ann is a passionate and loyal advocate of the humble pasty - you never talk of a "Cornish" pasty in Cornwall - and when William Grimes, New York Times food critic, cursed and likened them to a doorstop she burnt the American flag!
Once again we found Ann's little pasty shop, glowing like a bright yellow beacon in the quiet residential street. Rumour has it that at peak times up to 500 pasties a day are made and find their way out of the converted garage at the back of the house.
The traditional pasty contains just four ingredients: chopped beef (usually a cheap cut such as chuck or skirt), potatoes, onions, and swede (known in Cornwall as turnip). The vegetables are thinly sliced and the filling is always added to the pasty raw, never pre-cooked. The meat and vegetables are layered and seasoned with nothing more than salt and black pepper. The edges of the pastry are then taken up and sealed together with a series of twisting movements - the 'crimp'.
We ordered two medium pasties and hurried accross the road to the benches in the playing field to hungrily devour them. The pasties are so delicious I could cry. The pastry is golden and crispy on the outside, meltingly soft on the inside where the juices from the perfectly steamed meat and vegetables have soaked in. The chunks of beef are tender and the swede - sorry, turnip – adds a delicious sweetness. You can taste each element individually but what makes these pasties so good is the generous seasoning of freshly ground black pepper.Ann’s pasties are without doubt the best in Cornwall and therefore, by definition, in the whole world.
Sunny Corner, Beacon Terrace, The Lizard, TR12 7PB
This post forms part of a series about our 2010 gastro camping trip in Cornwall.