Regarding "Window decorating contest draws ire" (Dec. 9, Daily Sun), staff writer Gabriel Granillo may not understand, based on the description of pasties as "English baked pastry," that Cornish and English are different cultural identities. Thus, the Cornish pasty is not an English dish. While both Cornwall (one of my favorite places) and England occupy the island of Great Britain and are part of the United Kingdom, the Cornish are Celts, not Anglo-Saxons.

Pasties, a tasty and filling meal consisting of a semicircular pie traditionally containing meat and vegetables on one side and fruit and sweets on the other, folded and baked in a crust with crimped edges, was created by the Cornish as a self-contained meal for tin miners that they could eat with their hands. The crimped edge was a way to clutch the pie and was discarded in the mine, as it would be contaminated by the miner's fingers. When crusts mysteriously disappeared overnight, the Cornish legend of ghosts in the mines was born (when in fact the rats ate the crusts, but that's imaginative Cornwall for you).

As to the controversy over the bakery's clever visual pun with its window of a nude woman wearing pasties over her breasts, were it a Cornish pub, they might raise a pint to "m'lady." Seen here, however, it does smack a bit of yet another misguided American appropriation of a poorly understood minority culture. Maybe the joke is too sophisticated for Flagstaff provincialism. Or too sexist.

GARY LEE

Flagstaff

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