Thanks everyone who emailed me pictures of your spoon rests for last weeks Tear Down Tuesday! I love blog interactiveness. Comes alive ya know?
So who here is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? Random question, but hands are raised more often than numbers would suggest. For Spring Break this year while I was sleeping (as in ZZZZs not as in promiscuity) and eating my way around Boston, my sister and her boyfriend made a little 20 hour road trip to visit our amazing family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. That's where those fine photos were taken. My Granny's table. Love her. And Grandfather.
If you remember way back when I had just started blogging we made a similar trip and I mentioned one of my favorite restaurants: The Ambassador. Well, this time I bring to you one of my family's favorite foods: the pasty. Also spelled pastie.
If you wanted to, you could say that I have an irrational obsession for the pasty considering I do not consume them. Even in my younger years when I was technically still a meat eater, I ate the crust and left the middle to sit. Do not use me as your guide. Pasties are amazingly delicious to anyone who considers themselves a good ol' omnivore, and I love them because of their history. I've actually gone ahead and included a small paper I wrote on them two years back, a paper complete with recipe and history:
Cornish Pasties Multicultural Recipe Project
But in case your computer does not host Scribd, I will paste the written history portion of the paper here:
Both of the sides of my family are from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In fact, despite continual economic deterioration, most my family still call the
The copper mines were at one time a huge source of revenue for the economy, and they are how my family ended up so far north. In the middle of the 19th century, the Cornish people immigrated to
The actual structure of the pastie contributes to it being the ideal mining food. Pasties have a thick crust and are traditionally eaten held upright in the hand from the top down. The crust and eating method allowed several benefits for the miners. First of all, by holding the pastie upright they could simply throw away the last bite and avoid illness. The mines were full of arsenic, and by not eating anything their hands had directly touched the men avoided consuming large quantities of poison. Second, when the women would make pasties they were often making several at once for several miners in the family. To avoid confusion they would carve initials or some kind of caricature into the bottom corner of the pastie. Later in the mines, everyone was sure to eat the corner with his initial on it last. This meant that if several people had leftovers for later they could easily tell one pastie from another. The initials also marked the dessert end of the pastie so the miners knew not to eat their desserts first.
My family has been eating pasties since they’ve arrived in