Pasty expert Marion to spice up World Pasty Championships with a taste of Mexico
Marion Symonds, renowned baker and owner of Portreath Bakery, will bring a taste of Mexico to the Eden Project’s World Pasty Championships on March 1.
Marion will be running a workshop showing visitors how to make the Mexican “paste”, a Central American version of the Cornish pasty adapted from recipes taken there by Cornish miners in the 19th century.
The hugely-popular paste is typically produced in the central Mexican state of Hidalgo and is made with a variety of fillings, including beef, potatoes, onions, leeks, chilli, butter and parsley.
Marion has visited this area of the country with the Cornish Mexican Cultural Society twice and made a special visit on behalf of the Cornish Mining and Marketing Association to take the Cornish Mining World Heritage plaque to a Cornish cemetery in Real del Monte.
During these trips, Marion sampled local cuisine, attended festivals dedicated to the paste and taken part in the official opening of a Cornish museum.
She also helped make a 3.5 metre-long pasty with local bakers which fed 800 people and has organised a traditional Cornish afternoon tea with fellow pasty expert and chair of the Cornish Pasty Association Elaine Ead of the Chough Bakery in Padstow.
Since the trips, Marion has introduced a Mexican chilli pasty to the menu at the Portreath Bakery.
Marion said: “I’m really excited to be appearing at the World Pasty Championships at Eden, sharing my experiences of Mexico and its cuisine. Mexico is an amazing place and Hidalgo has a fascinating shared heritage with Cornwall.
“The paste is a delicious Central American take on the pasty and I aim to inspire Eden visitors to introduce a taste of Mexico to their own oggy creations.”
The World Pasty Championships are open to amateurs, professionals, companies and juniors and entrants can submit traditional Cornish pasties as well as more outlandish creations. Registration to enter the World Pasty Championships will close at midday on Friday February 28.
Entry costs £10 per adult category or £5 for the junior categories. This entitles the competitor and one guest to free entry to the Eden Project on the day of the competition.
Eden will be open until 9pm on the day of the World Pasty Championships with a programme including the “Oggy Oscars” awards ceremony and live music. Eden’s ice rink will also be open for the day with the last skating session starting at 8pm.
Rising star Kezia has just been added to the entertainment line-up for the day, joining ground-breaking lo-fi hip-hop duo Hedluv and Passman, melodic contemporary folk act Winter Mountain, Celtic three-piece Grapefruit Moon and Ben Sutcliffe, front man of eclectic local band The People’s String Foundation.
As well as music and entertainment throughout the day and evening, the World Pasty Championships will also feature workshops and masterclasses from renowned pasty experts, including a session on how to make the perfect pasty pastry from top chef Martin Chiffers, formerly of The Savoy in London. There will also be a session from top beer sommelier and Guardian journalist Sophie Atherton who will be giving tips on which beers to pair with your pasty.
This year’s World Pasty Championships will mark the start of Eden’s “Charity Begins in Cornwall” campaign, which will help ten small Cornish charities with their fundraising.
Eden is working in partnership with the Cornwall Community Foundation, who have chosen the charities, and Localgiving.com, who enable giving and donations to small local charities and community groups. The campaign will match donations up to a value of £20,000.
The Championships are backed by the Cornish Pasty Association after it won European Union Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for the Cornish pasty last year. It means only pasty makers based in Cornwall who make pasties in a traditional manner and follow a traditional recipe are able to label their products as Cornish pasties.