There were reports in the news this week that soldiers at a barracks in Yorkshire have been banned from standing outside a popular bakery eating while in uniform as it makes them look unprofessional. Members of the Royal Dragoon Guards were warned that ‘under no circumstances’ should they ‘stand outside Greggs eating a pasty‘. This comes in the wake of other stories reporting that around 16% of all the members of the UK’s armed forces are overweight or obese.
A pasty or pastie is a food a made by folding pastry around meat, cheese, or vegetables, then baking it; a kind of portable pie for one person. The most popular form, the Cornish pasty, traditionally contains meat, potatoes, and other vegetables, though many other fillings are used. One story behind the pasty’s shape, with its thick ridge of pastry on one side, is that it was a handy way for Cornish workers in the tin mines and elsewhere to carry with them a complete meal that stayed warm for a long time and required no cutlery.
This is not the first time pasties have been in the news. In 2012 the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne proposed extending the tax of 20% on all hot takeaway food to food that is baked to be eaten hot, including pasties and sausage rolls. There was an outcry, amplified by the fact that the Prime Minister David Cameron and his Chancellor, who both came from very wealthy backgrounds, claimed improbably to be fond of pasties and to eat them on a regular basis. The proposal was subesquently altered and the pies remained untaxed.
The word pasty comes from the Latin ‘pasta’, meaning ‘paste’, via Old French.Email this Post