Cornwall, England had been known for their tin and copper mines for centuries. When the Cornish mining industry eventually declined starting in the mid-19th century, Cornish miners, known as Cousin Jacks, went overseas looking for work in mines all over the globe. And where they went, their famous Cornish pasties followed. The pasties were made by miners’ wives, known as Cousin Jennies. These pasties, a hefty dough-wrapped pocket of meat and potatoes, served as a convenient and calorific meal down in the mines. The pasties are also delicious, which you can find out for yourself if you visit a part of the U.S. that is, or once was, known for mining.
We loved the pasties we found in the old copper mining town of Butte, Montana. They’re also well-known in Michigan. One choice source for pasties is called Cousin Jenny’s, in Traverse City, Michigan. Owner Jerilyn Deboer builds one pound packages of steak, potatoes, onions, rutabaga, and seasonings for her traditional pasties, and she’s designed newfangled varieties filled with things like ham and sauerkraut, or sausage, pepperoni, and tomato sauce. Watch the video above to see Jerilyn in action, as she holds forth on what she calls pastiology, the science of pasties.