Monday, February 19, 2007


Right now the most delicious smell is wafting through my house. I just made 6 glorious, delicious, mouth-watering Cornish pasties. (not the boobie-tassles, the "a" is short, or "pure" if you know IPA)
My paternal grandmother had family who came to Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania from Cornwall. That area of PA is known as the Slate Belt, aptly named for the slate mines that were prevalent there. The miners used to take pasties in their lunch- and according to my grandmother, her father took them in his lunch as well. For those of you unfortunate enough not to have tasted a pasty, it's a meat pie. It's usually made with steak, potato, onion, sometimes turnip or rutabega (not this girl) and sometimes carrot. It is simply seasoned with salt and pepper and a dot of butter- the filling placed in a circle of yummy pie dough, folded over and the edges crimped. Yes, I make my own pie dough, and have turned into a snob about it. You cut slits in the top so it can vent, then bake and enjoy the most delicious smell ever.

No one around here has heard of pasties, but if you drive about an hour and a half north and a bit east to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, you can get a tasty pasty (they do not rhyme, people) at the Red Rooster cafe. They had miners up there from Cornwall as well, and the pasty stayed on.

As a person who HATES the "samification" (thanks, Teacher Lady) of America, I adore regional food. I love that when you order breakfast in the south, grits are on the menu. I love that when you go to New Orleans, a "po-boy" is a sandwich. What'chall got in your neck of the woods that I would be hard pressed to get here in Iowa? Here, we've got Maid-Rites (aka "loose-meat sandwiches"); breaded pork tenderloins, the Iowa chop (big-ass pork chop) and where I live, Chicago-style pizza and Italian beef. Not in restaurants, but in Scandinavian families, we've also got lefse, kringle and if you're really unlucky, ludefisk. The Czech families are quite fond of making kolaches (yummy pastries).


Blogger Mrs. Bluebird said...

I grew up in Southern California, and even though my family is as anglo as they come, I grew up eating a lot of traditional Mexican food - tamales, tacos, enchiladas, etc. Fortunately, I've learned to cook it pretty well which has helped out when I've lived in regions of the country where they think Mexican food is what you get at Taco Bell (it isn't).

When I lived in West Central Ohio, regional food there included breaded tenderloins (huge monsters that filled a dinner plate, and only about 1/4" thick), deep fried dill pickles, and sugar cream pie.

Now that I'm in the South, it's BBQ...and that's a whole 'nuther topic of regional differences and beliefs. Of course we get real mac and cheese (nothing in a blue box, thank you very much) and then slaws in every shape and size. Real honest too goodness hushpuppies, and grits (which I hate but hubby loves). And Smithfield Ham which is saltier than anything on earth. And real honest too goodenss cooked with salt pork green beans.

And sweet tea...I've actually become addicted to sweet tea, thanks to Splenda.

2/19/2007 7:01 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

Sonoran-style hot dogs (with bacon) from el Guero Canelo.

Raspados in about every flavor you can think of.

Eegees, our local icee and sub chain (I'm actually not a huge fan, but Tucsonans are fiercely loyal to them).

Kickass, authentic Mexican (especially Northern Mexico) all over South Tucson.

I know pasties....they make pretty good ones in the UP in MI, too. And there's a pretty good little place here in Tucson where I can get Argentinian (the closest I can get to Chilean), Colombian and Brazilian versions of their primo, the empanada.

2/19/2007 7:32 PM  
Blogger MsAbcMom said...

mmm...Did you take pictures?

2/19/2007 8:20 PM  
Blogger happychyck said...

Here in Vegas we have BUFFETS and CHEAP EATS. That's right, baby! All you can eat shrimp here in the desert or prime rib dinner for $7.99. There is something from Utah that I've been obsessed with again since I discovered this Idaho place that serves it with something called finger steaks, which are battered and fried pieces of steak. My born-again obsession? Fry Sauce. Check out this link for someone who already blogged about it. I know...I'm way too low-brow to be hanging 'round here!

2/19/2007 9:33 PM  
Blogger Mister Teacher said...

Mmmmmmm... Booby Tassles...

2/20/2007 7:05 PM  
Blogger sexy said...







3/05/2009 2:25 AM  

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