Mexico's traditional 'Cornish' pasties

A Mexican town, which has eschewed traditional burritos and tortillas in favour of the humble Cornish pasty, is welcoming a delegation from Cornwall to celebrate its second Cornish pasty festival.

The small town of Real del Monte in central-eastern Mexico has invited a group of Cornish pasty-lovers, along with the British Ambassador in Mexico Judith MacGregor and Mexican food expert Diana Kennedy, to the three-day festival. The visit is being arranged by the Cornish Mexican Cultural Society, which promotes the historic links between the two regions.

The Cornish tradition in Mexico stems from miners who left Falmouth in the early 19th century to mine the silver reserves of the Hidalgo region. They settled in the small town of Real Del Monte, bringing heavy engineering equipment, which enabled silver extraction on a large scale.

Since then, ‘pastes’ have become a local delicacy, although they are often filled with more Mexican flavours such as chilli, beans and ‘tingo’ (shredded chicken), rather than the traditional Cornish filling of minced beef, onions and potatoes.

Cornish pasties were afforded protected geographical status (PGI) from the European Union in February of this year.