In Plymouth, pasties are considered as one of the major food groups. I grew up on Ivor Dewdneys, later progressed onto Oggy Oggy, and then found the perfect pasty in the West Cornwall Pasty Co.
I used to take my pasties seriously. I’d complain if one had peas in – not a proper pasty. If the crust was on the top, and not the side – it’s just not a proper pasty. It may seem trivial, but there have been wars over pasties.
Alas, I will never again walk down Royal Parade in Plymouth eating a steaming Dewdneys pasty out of a paper bag. It’s a sad fact, but one that will probably improve my waistline, not to mention my social decorum.
So what of the gluten free pasty alternatives? I honestly can’t bring myself to try them. It would almost be disrespectful to my Westcountry past, to the pasty pioneers, the miners of Cornwall and my mum’s fantastic pasty pie.
I live in Reading now, I’ve moved on and have bid farewell to most Devon culinary customs (with the exception of clotted cream on cornflakes naturally).
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
Having once commuted to work in London, I now only make the journey to drink wine with my friends. This makes the trip much more enjoyable, but I have been known to fall asleep on the way home and wake up in Oxford. I now try to be sensible and eat something to stop the bottles of wine going to my head.
I suggested a Leon Restaurant on the Strand, which would have been an ideal solution. The menus are marked with little ‘GFs’, ‘WFs’ and ‘Vs’, so they have put a lot of thought into considering different diet needs. Unfortunately, they have absolutely no consideration for people that might want a glass of wine. The realisation that we were in a restaurant that only served fruit juice and smoothies, sent us running to the nearest Wagamamas quicker than you can say chicken katsu curry.
I have since given Leon a sober second chance, and am pleased that I did. Calling Leon a restaurant is a little ambiguous - the food comes in a cardboard box. But it’s lovely none the less. I’m heading back to Leon next time I’m in London, and will give my liver a well deserved break. I think we'll be OK here.