15 Jul 2014

Cornwall #1: A little guide to Cornish food specialities

Most people prepare their holidays by setting up a list of the places they want to see and the things they want to do for their holidays. 
The main list that I prepare before any holidays is my "To Eat List".
When the average Jane would be upset to have visited NYC and missed the Empire State Building, Ze Pauline would be devastated to have not tried a culinary speciality the places she visits
Yes, I am that obsessed with food. 

My holidays in Cornwall being no exception, I had done my research and I had a plan
I am proud to declare that I ticked most of the items on my Cornish To Eat List, and God, what a satisfying experience that was.

Cornish food is amazing
Full stop.

If you share my obsession (or if you're just interested in knowing a bit more about Cornish food specialities) here are a few things you should try and eat if you ever visit Cornwall: 

- Saffron buns
You'll find them in most bakeries. 
Whereas good artisan bakeries are getting scarce in London these days, you'll find a bakery for every 2 inhabitants throughout Cornwall (call it Pauline Wonderland).
I'll try and make saffron buns myself soon. I'll share the recipe!

- Cornish Pasties
Traditionally made with beef, swede and potato, I've tried several vegetarian alternatives (vegetables and cheese, onions chive and cheese) to the traditional Cornish pasty during our trip and all were absolutely succulent.
I love Cornish pasties, and you can find the recipe on my blog here
In St Ives, the best are at Pengenna Pasties.
In every town, you'll find at least one bakery making Cornish Pasties. I would advise you stick to artisan pasties rather than chain-made pasties, and I doubt you will ever be disappointed.

Vegetable and Cheese Pasty
Traditional beef Cornish pasty from Pengenna Pasties in St Ives

- Cornish Clotted Cream
Savour clotted cream on a scone for a traditional Cornish Cream Tea, or in the shape of a Cornish ice-cream. 
One of the most famous local brands of clotted cream is Roddas, which also makes a lovely Cornish butter (although a bit too salty to my taste).
For absolutely fabulous scones and a delicious, yet very affordable cream tea, head for The Tea Room in St Ives
For delicious ice-creams, go to any shop that sells homemade clotted-cream ice-creams, like Jessie's Dairy in Mousehole.

Blueberry and clotted cream ice-Cream from Jessie's Dairy in Mousehole

The Cream Tea from The Tea Room in St Ives

- Cornish Yarg 
A lovely slightly crumbly semi-hard cheese wrapped in nettle leaves. 
And of course Cornish Blue, and Cornish brie. Available in all good supermarkets and cheese shops.

- Cornish crab, fish, lobster, mussels 
And all seafood for that matter. Extra fresh, seafood is on all good pub and restaurant menus and locals certainly know how to cook it to perfection in traditional as well as unsual ways. 
For the best crab cakes in the universe and delicious mussels and fish pies, don't miss The Ship Inn in Portheleven.
For a delicious Fish and Chips in Falmouth, go to The Harbour Lights and for yummy fish and crab soup, try the Seafood Bar.

- Stargazy pie
A pastry crusted fish pie. (That's the one thing I didn't get to try though, for lack of time)

- Local fruits and vegetables.

- Cornish cider: in all good pubs!

+ the little bonus: if you are in Falmouth at tea time, take a break in the beautiful old styled  De Wynns Tea and Coffee Shop and savour a slice of their sublime bread and butter pudding, which recipe is said to be more than 100 years old!

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