13 Annotations

First Reading

michael j. gresk m.a.  •  Link

a meat turnover. pastry dough is wrapped around a filling ( usually meat &/or vegatables) and baked. a variety called a 'cornish pasty' survives today.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

I have had venison pasty (and it was delicious) in Charleston, S.C., where game is plentiful. It was, essentially, a coarse venison pate with a pastry covering.

Paul Miller  •  Link

To Season a Venison Pasty from a seventeenth century recipe.

Take out ye bones & turn ye fat syde down upon a board. Yn take ye pill of 2
leamons & break them in pieces as long as yr finger & thrust them into every
hole of yr venison. then take 2 ounces of beaten pepper & thrice as much salt,
mingle it, then wring out ye juice of leamon into ye pepper & salt & season it,
first takeing out ye leamon pills haveing layn soe a night. then paste it with
gross pepper layd on ye top & good store of butter or mutton suet.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Upper Crust to Underground to Down Under

"The Cornish pasty is the original hand-held convenience food with a pedigree that dates back to the Middle Ages. In the 13th and 14th centuries, pasties were filled with venison, beef, lamb, salmon and lampreys (eels), dressed with rich gravies and sweetened with dried fruits. It was a high table dish enjoyed almost exclusively by royalty and the upper classes.

"The pasty became synonymous with Cornwall some 500 years later, thanks largely to the development of tin and copper mining in the county. Filled with beef, potatoes, onion and turnip, the pasty was a highly portable, well-insulated and nutritious meal ideally suited to the gruelling conditions underground. ..."

"When Cornish miners emigrated to work in the USA, Australia, South Africa and South America they took their pasty-making skills with them."

-- "The Cornish Pasty" http://www.agrebooks.co.uk/pasty.…

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Pasty as State Religion

"From the moment you cross the Makinac Bridge from downstate Michigan onto the Upper Peninsula, you see signs for "Pasties." Everywhere. ...

"I also asked him to describe one, and he told me that just recently, a tourist had come in and asked the same question. Roger gave him a lengthy explanation, and as the man left, he yelled to his wife in the car, 'Stew in a bun.'"

-- "Sidetrip: Pasties with a twist," by Michael Vitez, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6 July 2002 http://inquirer.philly.com/go/pas…

Les Barker  •  Link

The cornish pasty was traditionally an entire meal (or so the tradition goes). It contained the savoury part at one end and the sweet part at the other. Whether or not there was some indication as to which end you should start from, I can't say.

JWB  •  Link

Upon John Winthrop's arrival in America:

"... returned with them to Nahumkeck (aka Salem), where
we supped with a good venison pasty and good beer,..."

Winthrop's Journal, "History of New England" 1630-1649. Volume: 1. Contributors: James Kendall Hosmer - editor. Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1908. Page Number: 49.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

PASTY, the Crust of a Pye raised without a Dish.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

This appears to be also the modern definition, at least among the descendants of the Cornish miners of northern Michigan! http://blog.mlive.com/michigan_ap…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

An article about 17th century food in general, and Pepys reports of his likes and dislikes in particular, contains these details about venison pies:

"Sam does not seem to have had a great deal of luck with the venison at Sir William [PENN]'s table. He experienced another rotten pasty on 28 August 1668, 'Betimes at my business again, and so to the office, and dined with Brouncker and J. Minnes, at Sir W. Pen’s at a bad pasty of venison,'

"At yet another entertainment at the Penn household (Sunday 16 September 1666), he was displeased with the venison again, though this time it was baked in pans rather than in a pasty. 'At noon, with my wife, against her will, all undressed and dirty, dined at Sir W. Pen’s, where was all the company of our families in towne; but, Lord! so sorry a dinner: venison baked in pans, that the dinner I have had for his lady alone hath been worth four of it.'
"He was more than likely complaining because it was dry. Baking venison, a meat with very little fat does not make sense. Indeed, according to his numerous records of the meat, the diarist only ever had it cooked this way on this one occasion. It was normally served to him in the form of a pasty, or more infrequently boiled.

"So why were some of Sam's pasties tainted? In one entry for 10th July 1666, he indicates that a pasty made in his kitchen was sent to the bakers: "At noon home to dinner and then to the office; the yarde being very full of women (I believe above three hundred) coming to get money for their husbands and friends that are prisoners in Holland; and they lay clamouring and swearing and cursing us, that my wife and I were afeard to send a venison-pasty that we have for supper to-night to the cook's to be baked, for fear of their offering violence to it: but it went, and no hurt done."
"So it looks like Mrs Pepys [NOOOO, NOT ELIZABETH -- MAKE IT THE COOK!] occasionally tried her hand at making them herself.
"But a venison pasty was more often made by a cook on the estate where the deer had been hunted. A whole boned side was encased in a pastry crust (usually rye paste) so these pasties were very large. When cool they were stored in a larder, where under cold conditions they could keep for months. The thick pastry casing prevented bacteria from entering and causing decay, at least for a while. It was a process equivalent to canning.
"However, this technique of preservation sometimes failed, as Sam found out to his disgust at Penn's dinners.
"Pasties were often sent from the country seats where the deer had been hunted, frequently to London, where they were much appreciated as gifts. Some travelled great distances. There are 16th century records of these great pasties being sent to France.
"Sam and his neighbour William Penn probably got hold of them, as well as raw venison meat from noble friends who owned deer parks. Venison was not a meat you could normally buy from a butcher."

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.





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