Cornish Hospitality

Stargazy Pie by Victoria Bampfield

St. Piran's Day

Mar 5

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St. Piran's Day
Cornish Hospitality
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Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"A merrier place you may believe; Was Mousehole on Tom Bawcock's eve To be there then who wouldn't wish;To sup on seven sorts of fish When murgy broth had cleared the path; Comed lances for a fry And then us had a bit o' scad ; And starry gazey pie " ~ Robert Morton Nance, 1927 (Modern English)

Stargazy pie (sometimes called starrey gazey pie, stargazey pie and other variants) is a Cornish dish made of baked pilchards (or sardines), along with eggs and potatoes, covered with a pastry crust.  The unique feature of stargazy pie is fish heads (and sometimes tails) protruding through the crust, so that they appear to be gazing skyward. This traditional dish is often baked for Tom Bawcock's Eve (December 23) to commemorate a 16th century legend. Recipe included!One of the pleasures of Cornish hospitality is found in its strong culinary heritage which has been carried intact to former mining communities as far as the United States, Australia, and Mexico by miners who left to make their fortunes elsewhere. Apart from the iconic Cornish pasty, one of its other signature dishes is Stargazy pie (sometimes called starrey gazey pie, or stargazey pie) a dish made of baked pilchards (or sardines), along with eggs and potatoes, covered with a pastry crust.  The unique feature of stargazy pie is fish heads (and sometimes tails) protruding through the crust, so that they appear to be gazing skyward. This traditional dish is often baked for Tom Bawcock's Eve on December 23rd to commemorate a 16th century legend. Recipe included!

Cornish Hospitality

St. Piran's Day, March 5th, is the national day of Cornwall.

Along with other Cornish treats for St. Piran's Day such as Cornish pasties, yarg cheese, Cream teas (jam first, cream afterwards, please), saffron buns, and pilchards, one of the most iconic is stargazey pie!

Stargazy pie (sometimes called starrey gazey pie, stargazey pie and other variants) is a Cornish dish made of baked pilchards (or sardines), along with eggs and potatoes, covered with a pastry crust.  The unique feature of stargazy pie is fish heads (and sometimes tails) protruding through the crust, so that they appear to be gazing skyward. This allows the oils released during cooking to flow back into the pie.

This pie is traditionally eaten on December 23rd, celebrating the heroic act of 16th century legendary fisherman Tom Bawcock of Mousehole, who sailed out into a violent stormy sea to fish when the village was facing starvation. He returned with seven types of fish which were made into a pie and shared among the townsfolk, thus saving them from famine.

For a humble yet elevated recipe, click the beautiful stargazey pie!

Cornish Hospitality
Cornish Hospitality

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The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the

 

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 

 

Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

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