Tuesday, 13 August 2013

One Hand on my Pastry Pocket

Travel food is always fun. The engineering that goes behind every snack or meal that can be eaten on the go without the stable support of a table or the use of utensils is pure genius. Steak and stew that I can eat with one hand while walking or travelling on a bumpy train ride? Yes, please. Yes, please very much big time. Welcome to the wonderful world of the pasty. It has many cousins across the globe: curry puffs, empanadas, calzones, turnovers and more. But this is the classic British incarnation of working man grub. Now catering to more commuters than coalminers, thanks to the widespread prevalence of franchises like the West Cornwall Pasty Company, it still provides tasty, filling and transportable treats for the busy traveller. 

At a train station, I couldn’t help but stop and get one of my favourites, a good old fashioned steak and ale – or Steak and Tribute, as the Company calls them. I also wanted to introduce my all-American husband to the flaky delights of these warm savoury pastries. I think he chose a Chicken and Mushroom. I must confess that despite spending many years as a customer, I have yet to pick anything but my beloved steak and ale. I am such a sucker for steak and ale. Typical hypocrite. I usually do make an effort to try new and different things, but I suppose everyone has those things to which they keep going back. The sultry malted tones of the ale just work wonders on the rich meaty bite of the melting steak. All the vegetables are stewed in the velvety juices and have sucked up all the goodness from both of the star players. And the flaky pastry is crisp and golden on the outside but soft and saturated in scrumptious sauce on the inside. It is such a warm and cosy treat that can be so comforting on a tedious journey. I am salivating just remembering its savoury silky scent. 

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