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The Cornish Pasty

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When is croust-time?

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As a Cornishman, and one who loves his pasties, I have often been asked "When is croust-time?"

Its quite easy, really.

It goes back to the tin mines. After you had breakfast, very early, you took your pasty and went off to the mine, to work.

You worked hard until you got starving hungry. That was croust-time.

"Croust time" is really "lunch time" but the actual time varied. The reason for this was that down in the tin mine, you couldn't see the sun so you didn't know the time at all. Up top, out of the mine, posh people in Cornwall call it "dinner time" and croust-time for them is in the middle of the morning still.

It was different in the early days of tin, because they was above ground, streaming for it in the valleys and they could see the sun and tell the time properly.

"Lunch" and "luncheon" are not Cornish words.

When you worked down in a mine, you couldn't carry two or three meals with you, so that is how it was.

After "croust", you worked until you were starving again and that was how you knew it was tea-time, then you went home for your "tea". Posh people in England d'call it "dinner" but that's silly because you don't have dinner in the evening, do you, that's tea-time?

It was a hard life in the mine - there were no unions, or tea-breaks and coffee-breaks.

In fact, tea (introduced in 1610) and coffee (introduced 1538) were hardly known!

Anyhow, that's "croust-time" explained for you.

(there is more about "croust" HERE) and a problem with some pasties that don't come from Cornwall .....

Long live the Cornish pasty!


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