Long before the card playing 4th Earl of Sandwich ordered his servants to bring him slices of meat between bread so he didn’t have to interrupt his game, there was the pasty.
The first known references to pasties are from the thirteenth century, at the time of Henry III. Back then it was made mostly from venison and considered a luxury food item. Later it was adopted by the common man and made famous by the Cornish tin mines.
The recipe’s thick pastry crust stayed warm for many hours and made a convenient, sturdy lunch for the miners to carry. One theory says that by handling them by the folded edge, which they discarded, they did no ingest the arsenic on their hands they got from mining tin.
Another folk tale says that the pastry must be sturdy enough to survive a drop down the mine shaft.

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