In Wednesday’s episode, Tina brings Joe and Jason Cornish pasties for lunch where they are working on Peter’s reno. She chides Jason for eating the “corners” of his pasty, referring to the savory treat’s origins:
The origins of the pasty are largely unknown, although it is generally accepted that the modern form of the pasty originated in Cornwall. Tradition claims that the pasty was originally made as lunch (‘croust’ or ‘crib’ in the Cornish language) for Cornish tin miners who were unable to return to the surface to eat. The story goes that, covered in dirt from head to foot (including some arsenic often found with tin), they could hold the pasty by the folded crust and eat the rest without touching it, discarding the dirty pastry. The pastry they threw away was supposed to appease the knockers, capricious spirits in the mines who might otherwise lead miners into danger. Pasties were also popular with farmers and labourers, particularly in the North East of England, also a mining region.
The pasty’s dense, folded pastry could stay warm for 8 to 10 hours and, when carried close to the body, could help the miners stay warm. Traditional bakers in former mining towns will still bake pasties with fillings to order, marking the customer’s initials with raised pastry. This practice was started because the miners used to eat part of their pasty for breakfast and leave the remainder for lunch; the initials enabled them to find their own pasties. Some mines kept large ovens to keep the pasties warm until mealtime. It is said that a good pasty should be strong enough to endure being dropped down a mine shaft.