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World's first Cornish pasty museum opens in Mexico
David Millward -
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November 15, 2011
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The pasty has been in Mexico for generations, having been bought to the country along with football and technology by Cornish miners in 1824 Photo: ALAMY

But the world’s first museum dedicated to the “delicacy” is to be built in the mining municipality of Real del Monte, more than 4,500 miles away in Mexico.

A team of five Mexican bakers have been in Cornwall learning the art of crimping – shaping the crust along the edge of the pasty – in readiness for when the museum opens its doors next March.

The pasty has been in Mexico for generations, having been bought to the country along with football and technology by Cornish miners 1824 as they helped build up the local mining industry.

The Mexican variant – known as paste – has been tweaked over the generations to include peppers, chicken, pineapple and hot chilli sauce.

It is washed down with pulche, a fearsome local hooch made from the leaves of agave cactus.

After three festivals Real del Monte, which is the home of pasty making in Mexico, has decided that a permanent museum is a more appropriate way of marking its historic links to Cornwall.

The project is being organised by The Regulatory Council for the Cornish Heritage of Real del Monte (Consejo Regulador del Patrimonio Cultural Real del Monte Cornwall).

Jaime Soto, the chairman who led the delegation, explained that the organisation has that it wants to promote the pasty industry in Real del Monte.

"Everyone we have met has been very interested in the history of the Cornish miners in our area and it has been a wonderful opportunity to spread the word over here about the International Pasty Festival and the pasty museum.

"We hope that we will be able to return the hospitality in Real del Monte where people will be able to sample pasties with our unique range of ingredients."

His team’s odyssey around the producers of Cornwall was organised by the Cornish pasty Association.

Mark Muncey, chairman of the association, said: "We are very proud of the history and heritage behind the Cornish pasty which was granted the protected food status earlier this year and it is great to have the opportunity to share the knowledge about this iconic product with Jaime and his team."

The pasty is just one relic of the Real del Monte’s historic links with Cornwall.

Four Cornish mine pump engines are still in place, while the town clock at Pachuca still chimes to the tune of Big Ben.

However with the decline of mining, pasties have now become a new source of income.

Pachuca also has a methodist church which was built by the miners and there is a Cornish cemetery with the graves of the settlers who never returned to England.

Football, which is the Mexican national game, was first played at Pachuca in 1900 and Pachuca Athletic was the first club to be formed in the country.

Tennis is also believed to have been brought to the country by Cornish managers.

Last month’s pasty festival, the third, attracted an estimated 20,000 visitors.

It went rather more smoothly than the first, when Mexican customs officials confiscated swedes being brought in by Pam Melville, from the Poldark mine.

+ Wexico

Her pleas that the swedes were an essential ingredient for pasties fell on deaf ears.

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