Save the date – Cornish Pasty Week is back for 2020!
PUBLISHED: 11:05 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:37 19 February 2020
Limber up your thumb as Cornish pasty week is back – what better excuse to try something new?
Pasty making is more of a craft than a sport but my goodness does it bring out a competitive edge. We see this every year at the hotly-contested World Pasty Championships and on 29 February, we'll host the event for the eighth time. Our partners the Cornish Pasty Association have a super challenge this year when they will be seeking the World's Fastest Crimper. No doubt this will turn up another great story at an event that never fails to produce a tasty tale or three to grab the news headlines. None more so than in 2015 when Betty Lethbridge, mother of Fisherman's Friends singer John, landed the coveted Cornish Pasty Amateur title.
Last year we had another great story when Gillian Francis from St Cleer scooped top prize in the Cornish Pasty Amateur category and picked up a third in another class, having only learned to crimp a couple of weeks before.
Teaching assistant Gillian had been testing out her pasties on her three sons but hadn't mastered the crimping art so popped next door and asked her neighbour to show her how it should done.
The rest, as they say, is World Pasty Championships history. Like Betty's, Gillian's triumph came to her as a great surprise, such is the modesty of the typical Cornish pasty maker. Gillian has gone on to share her baking and crimping skills with The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, thanks to her well-deserved win.
We dreamt up Cornish Pasty Week as a celebration of the Duchy's culinary gift to the world and the perfect run-in to the Championships. The Pasty Association grasped the idea with both hands and with our help ran with it brilliantly for the first time in 2018. This saw a memorable pasty take-over of London and an event in the Houses of Parliament.
All this tickled the tastebuds of pasty aficionado Chris Evans: he and his Radio 2 team were elated when a select shipment of steaming-hot oggies arrived at the studio in time for breakfast.
The championships are a celebration of not just the Cornish pasty but variations around the world and once more we'll have contestants from Callington to Canada, St Austell to USA.
Due back for the third year will be Mike 'The Pasty' Burgess of Virginia, who took home a top prize last year with a barbecue chicken creation made with sweet potato, courgette, red pepper, sweetcorn and, yes, pineapple. Mike's 'pineapple pasty' triumph served up some juicy headlines around the world.
There's plenty of time yet to craft your crimping and take up our challenge!
Cornish Pasty Week will take place from 23 - 29 Feburary. Visit www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk/ for more information.
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