The Trencherman was born in Cornwall. Its cook-books are fat with inspiration, and the restaurants of its premier resort sparkle with original recipes or revivals from the days of the baking iron and cloam oven. A feast of fish and shellfish, riding the Gulf Stream to its shores, have made Newquay a mecca for lovers of seafood. But it is also the holiday home of the Pasty, the Split and the richest, yellowest Clotted Cream in the world - a place equally to eat or snack, lunch comfortably or dine in style.
A Feast of Opportunities - Eating out in Newquay
With so much choice, the problem is not where to go but where to begin. In addition to the many hotels, Newquay boasts numerous restaurants and caters for most tastes with American, Chinese, Indian and Italian cuisine providing more formal alternatives to the ever-popular English pub meals and fast food outlets. Not surprisingly, fresh seafood is a constant theme: all you have to decide is what you want and how you want it cooked.
Traditional Cornish Cooking
Cornish Cuisine combines the rich natural resources of sea and farm with the ingenuity of cooks forced to improvise in previous centuries by lack of money and technology. So, much use is made of swede and turnip to pad and fill - as in the ubiquitous pasty. Fish of all kinds, but especially pilchard, mackerel and herring, are cunningly presented, baked, boiled or enclosed in pies, like the Star-Gazey. Every part of the famous Cornish pig is used in recipes like Hog's Pudding and Muggety Pie. And locally produced eggs, cream, butter, suet and Figgies - currants - form the basis for delicious cakes, biscuits and puddings. Probably the Creamiest Ice Cream in the World
Once you have tasted Cornish Ice Cream, you will be spoiled for anything else. Not only does it combine exotic ingredients, like Rum and Raisin, it uses fresh fruit and clotted cream to provide a taste and texture that is deliciously, decadently unique. Proper Cornish Ice Cream is locally produced and on sale at most of Newquay's beaches as well as in the town.
The World-Famous Pasty
Called Oggies locally (from the Cornish Hoggan ) the pasty was designed to be a meal in itself for the farmer mid-harvest or the miner hundreds of feet underground. Some say the original was savoury at one end and sweet the other, with the man's initial carved in the pastry to tell where to begin. But as the old song goes:
Pastry rolled out like a plate, Piled with turmut, tates and mate*, Doubled up and baked like Fate: That's the Cornish Pasty. *Turnip, potatoes and meat - usually minced mutton.
Varieties of Pasty
The traditional Meat Pasty is made with short crust pastry, diced or minced mutton, onion and swede or turnip.
The Herb Pasty uses parsley, watercress and spinach, combined with shallots leeks and two rashers of bacon.
The Bacon and Egg Pasty uses three rashers and a hard-boiled egg, seasoned with parsley or teamed with turnip and clotted cream.
The Licky Pasty comprises chopped leeks boiled then fried in butter with bacon lardons.
The Fish Pasty uses flakes of mackerel, herring, haddock or other strongly flavoured fish instead of meat.
The Apple and Figgy pasty combines apple and figs in the pastry case with a sprinkling of cinnamon or raisins.Cornwall has a long tradition of producing a highly potent range of scrumpy ciders. Usually brewed up to a strength of 8% vol. Scrumpy rivals many wines for alcoholic content. Refreshing on hot days and bracing on cold, scrumpy offers a unique drinking experience. Not a drink, however for the faint hearted!
Another equally famous but completely different Cornish drink is Cornish Mead, which mates together honey, Jamaican root ginger and yeast into a wonderful wine or liqueur
6 Herrings, 3 bay leaves, vinegar, 9 peppercorns, 1 medium sliced onion, salt and pepper, chopped parsley.
Clean and bone the fish. Place on each several thin slices of onion; season and roll up from the head. Place in oven-proof dish, packed tightly. Place half bay-leaf between each fish, cover with half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water, and add the peppercorns and parsley. bake at 350 oF for an hour. Allow to cool before serving.
Fairings (Spicy Biscuits)
4oz sugar, 4oz butter, 8oz flour, 4 tbsps syrup, half-tsp salt, 2 tsps baking powder, 2 tsps bicarbonate of soda, 2 tsps mixed spice, 3 tsps ground ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon.
Sieve the flour, salt, spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Fold in the butter and sugar. Heat the syrup till liquid, pour over other ingredients and blend. Flour hands and roll mixture into small balls. Place well apart on greased baking tray and bake at 400 oF, moving fairings from top to bottom of the oven as they brown.