Greggs’ arrival is no threat to Cornwall’s real pasty makers | Letters

Readers react to an article by a pasty maker on the news that Greggs will be opening a shop in Truro

Re Fergus Muller’s article (Dear Greggs, I’m a pasty maker. Here is why you are not welcome here in Cornwall, 21 November), I’d like to tell him that his pasties are indeed magnificent, as are Rowe’s, Philps, Aunty May’s and most others. There is nothing to compare with sitting, looking at the sea or some other Cornish landscape, biting into the perfectly crimped crust of a freshly bought proper Cornish pasty, in a bag, oozing with exquisitely baked peppery beef, turnip, onion and tatie. Nothing.

I seek only to reassure Fergus. I am a Cornish woman, married to a Cornish man, and I regularly make pasties from a recipe handed down to me from generations of women from Newlyn and St Just. I would even call myself a connoisseur, certainly a purist.

But we live in London now and have raised three children who frequented our local Greggs for snacks after school for many years. Not exactly haute cuisine, but tasty, and I admit that we are all partial to its sausage rolls – the vegan ones are good – the pizzas, the sandwiches, the bakes and the soups, not to mention the yum yums. But I can’t say any of us have ever noticed a pasty on sale. Pies and bakes, but not a pasty.

I was surprised when I heard of the furore in the homeland when Greggs decided to open up there. To me, it is by no means competition for a proper pasty maker, any more than a Co-op or a Marks & Spencer hot food takeaway counter is. I don’t think Fergus has anything to worry about.
Heather Strongman
Crouch End, London

• Here in Newquay, we have excellent bakers, including the Cornish chains (such as Rowe’s and Warren’s) and some splendid independents, one of which has its own bakehouse behind the shop. I see no reason to give any Cornish branch of Greggs my business. Greggs is not bad by any means, but we in the Duchy do better.
Sim Harris
Newquay, Cornwall

• Fergus Muller tells us Greggs is “never going to fly down here [in Cornwall]”. He may be right. But in the midst of a cost of living crisis, when a medium pasty from his shop costs £4 (according to its website), far more than one from Greggs, he may well be wrong, even though I’m certain that his product is far superior. Coming on top of Malcolm Bell, the head of Visit Cornwall, referring to tourists as “fucking emmets”, this sort of insularity is unlikely to see Cornwall thrive.
Ian Simpson
London

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