One of the most iconic examples of British produced food is the simple Cornish pasty. Although you can buy these anywhere in the UK and many places overseas, a real pasty is hand made only in Cornwall. In fact the pasty now has protected geographic status; buy one anywhere other than Cornwall and it’s just not the real thing. The pasty supposedly dates back as far as the 12th century, although it became more widely eaten during the 17th and 18th centuries when tin mining thrived here. It was seen as a simple yet filling meal, and the pastry allowed it to be held and eaten easily without the contents spilling out or becoming contaminated. But what exactly is a pasty? Traditionally, it comprises beef, swede, potato and onion all enclosed in a pastry crust. It’s as delicious today as it was when eaten down the mine.