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).