Bakers challenged to create a special pasty for festival

Friday 24th September 2021 9:34 am
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LOCAL bakers have been set the challenge of creating the tastiest pasty in the Forest of Dean as part of next month’s food showcase festival at Speech House.

The Forest Showcase Food Festival, which will take place on October 3, is running a competition to find the "Forest of Dean Pasty Making Champion" as a nod to the district’s freemining heritage.

The competition organisers say they are looking for recipes that "feature and highlight ingredients sourced in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley", and all entries will be judged and displayed in the Cookery Theatre on the day of the festival.

While the organisers say they have found no evidence of Forest freeminers eating pasties, the pastry is famous for its popularity with miners in Cornwall, due to its unique shape which meant it could be carried easily and eaten without cutlery.

A spokesperson for the festival explained the history of the association: "Side-crimped pasties gave rise to the suggestion that the miner might have eaten the pasty holding the thick edge of pastry, which was later discarded, thereby ensuring that his dirty fingers did not touch food or his mouth.

"However, many old photographs show that pasties were wrapped in bags made of paper or muslin and were eaten from end to end.

"Another theory suggests that pasties were marked at one end with an initial and then eaten from the other end so that if not finished in one go, they could easily be reclaimed by their owners."

There will be two age categories in the baking competition, one for those aged 16 and over and a junior category for under 16s.

The pasty filling must be savoury, and bakers are asked to supply a brief description of the pasty ingredients in no more than 20 words when registering for the competition.

The 16 and over category is open to those who do not work as professional bakers or cooks, and the junior category is open to young bakers of pastries which contain a "non-traditional" combination of edible savoury ingredients.

Bakers must make two pasties, one to be judged and one for display.

Entries should be registered online at www.forestshowcase.org/competition, and pastries need to be taken to the Cookery Theatre before 12pm on the day of the festival.

LOCAL bakers have been set the challenge of creating the tastiest pasty in the Forest of Dean as part of next month’s food showcase festival at Speech House.

The Forest Showcase Food Festival, which will take place on October 3, is running a competition to find the "Forest of Dean Pasty Making Champion" as a nod to the district’s freemining heritage.

The competition organisers say they are looking for recipes that "feature and highlight ingredients sourced in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley", and all entries will be judged and displayed in the Cookery Theatre on the day of the festival.

While the organisers say they have found no evidence of Forest freeminers eating pasties, the pastry is famous for its popularity with miners in Cornwall, due to its unique shape which meant it could be carried easily and eaten without cutlery.

A spokesperson for the festival explained the history of the association: "Side-crimped pasties gave rise to the suggestion that the miner might have eaten the pasty holding the thick edge of pastry, which was later discarded, thereby ensuring that his dirty fingers did not touch food or his mouth.

"However, many old photographs show that pasties were wrapped in bags made of paper or muslin and were eaten from end to end.

"Another theory suggests that pasties were marked at one end with an initial and then eaten from the other end so that if not finished in one go, they could easily be reclaimed by their owners."

There will be two age categories in the baking competition, one for those aged 16 and over and a junior category for under 16s.

The pasty filling must be savoury, and bakers are asked to supply a brief description of the pasty ingredients in no more than 20 words when registering for the competition.

The 16 and over category is open to those who do not work as professional bakers or cooks, and the junior category is open to young bakers of pastries which contain a "non-traditional" combination of edible savoury ingredients.

Bakers must make two pasties, one to be judged and one for display.

Entries should be registered online at www.forestshowcase.org/competition, and pastries need to be taken to the Cookery Theatre before 12pm on the day of the festival.

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