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Eden Project hosts the World Pasty Championships

The World Pasty Championships are hosted by the eco-friendly Eden Project near St Austell and attract hundreds of entries from all over the world.
The near is better known for its giant biomes and educational rainforest plantings than as the home of the Cornish pasty. However, the first Saturday in March has become the annual date when they host the World Pasty Championships, followed by an evening of fun at the Oggy Oscars party!

Celebrate St Piran’s Day the Cornish Way!

Appropriately, the event takes place just before St Piran’s Day, March 5th. St Piran, in case you were unsure, is the patron saint of and the patron saint of tin miners. His flag is the white cross on a black background you will see flying across the county on any visit. St Piran’s Day has become the National Day of Cornwall and should definitely be celebrated with a large and tasty pasty for lunch.

This is only the second year that the event has taken place. It was started as a one-off event when the Eden Bakery organised the first such event in 2012. They were staggered when 100 competitors registered to take part. Entries arrived from all over the UK and even from the USA! It has grown into a day-long celebration centred on Cornwall’s national dish – the humble pasty.

History of Cornish Pasties

For “emmets” (the Cornish nickname for visitors) I should include a quick history of the pasty. This traditional half-circular pastry with a crimped edge was said to have been devised by tin miners’ wives who wrapped up a hot meal of meat, potato, onion and swede and baked it in a shortcrust pastry “pocket”. Made from a folded-over circle of pastry, the pasty was the perfect shape to slip into a miner’s pocket as he went to work down the mine. Eaten later, the miner could hold the thick crust and eat the pasty, discarding the dirty crimped crust at the end.

World Pasty Championships at Eden Project

Simple to make, you would find it hard to believe that almost everyone’s homemade pasty tastes different in one way or another. This was certainly evidenced at the first World Pasty Championships. They were all tasty – but judging the best is not an enviable task. If you fancy being part of the next event, either as a competitor or as part of the crowd, then head down to the at Bodelver the first Saturday in March.

Amateur and professional bakers compete under their own names and have to comply with a strict set of guidelines. However, for versatility and originality the open categories seem to be where “anything goes”, and ingredients such as wild rabbit, peas, smoked fish, saffron and lemon zest creep into the ingredients list.

Small, medium and large companies will compete against each other under their bakery names, their reputations clearly at stake in this semi-serious event. There is also a children’s class for pint-sized would-be pasty champions.

Supported by the , once the winners’ trophies have been announced in the Visitor Centre at 4:30pm, there will be an Oggie Oscars Party to round off this great day at the Eden Project.

As we’ve already mentioned, there are as many different Cornish pasties as there are Cornish bakers. Have you enjoyed a particularly mouth-watering tasty pasty? Do share your personal favourite pasty source with us in the comment box below.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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