When I rejoined the family business just over 3 years ago I had the idea to source as locally as possible. So I set myself the goal to try to get all of the ingredients in the pasty from within a ten mile radius of my shop in Helston and Mothers (Ann’s) shop in The Lizard.
Our potatoes are direct from Mr Grouse’s farm in Manaccan very close to the Helford. This is the village my Dad grew up in. The farm is about equal distance from our two Shops, approximately 5 miles. We don’t use any additives to keep our potatoes white, so this close relationship with Mr Grouse is very important to ensure we have the freshest white potatoes.
Again we get both of these ingredients direct from the farmer, in this case it’s Mr Goldsworthy from Leedstown, a village on the way to Hayle, about 8 miles from us. We have had Mr Goldsworthy’s turnip for a while now, it’s so yellow and sweet. For the veg element in my pasties I use a larger ratio of turnip than most; its wonderful flavour makes the most tasty pasty!
The onion was the last ingredient to source. I mentioned to Mr Goldsworthy that I was looking for Cornish onion and he immediately said he would grow us some! The difference this has made to our pasty is massive! The onion we were using before was rather flavourless, the Cornish onion we use now is lovely and strong and when cooked gives the pasty another dynamic.
Animal welfare is something I feel strongly about. I’m not a vegetarian by any means, I love meat but also love animals and they deserve to live the best possible lives and be treated to the least distress when the time come for slaughter! Travelling long distance to slaughter is very distressing to the animal so our beef comes directly from two farms less than 10 miles from us, and our butchers (Retallack butchers of the The Lizard and Dales butchers of Helston) have the brief to only buy within this distance also. The two farmers we use are Mr Andy Tylor and Mr Rowland Hill who both produce only Grass fed Red Ruby Beef which has great health benefits but also means the animals get to roam free on Cornish cliff tops.
As I said before everything we use is sourced within 10 miles of us. Buying ingredients that are this local reduces food miles, and in my mind buying local is better than buying organic!
Cornwall itself supplies the produce, everything within our pasties has been grown or reared within 10 miles of us and being a proud Cornishman this is the only way I would have it! My Cornish pasties are deeply rooted in the landscape, you could say they start getting made in the Cornish fields months or years before I sell one.
I’m passionate about returning the quality back to ‘The Cornish Pasty’. It is our national dish, it is a hot fresh beautiful parcel of food which we serve for the price of a fancy coffee or less than a pint of beer. In recent times profit margins have reduced the quality of our dish. I will not bend to make my product adhere to these mass producing pressures, nor will I change my family’s methods for speed.
I only buy local and 90% of the time I buy direct from the farmer, I know them all on very good terms. I look after them and in turn they look after me.