Just about every culture has some kind of historical connection to meats prepared and then wrapped in bread. Cooking the meat, then covering it in an edible dough both protected the meat and helped it last longer, which was important in an age without refrigeration and when individuals were traveling for weeks (or months) and fresh food wasn’t readily available. Historically, this method of transporting meat originated in the Middle East, before spreading through Europe. The empanada was birthed in Spain (then passed to the Americas, where most countries make a different variation of the food), and in England, it became known as a pasty. Now, a popular restaurant in metro Phoenix has plans on making its own expansion in the Valley.
The pasty, like the empanada, is dough wrapped around meat, vegetables, and other prepared foods. The food was spread throughout British colonies by soldiers, as the food could be prepared at one time and then each member of the military could carry rations. The Cornish pasty specifically was used in England by minders, as the food could be baked and then carried down into the mines. There is an urban legend that minders would only hold onto the crimped edge of the pasty as to avoid coating the food in poisonous debris stuck to their fingers.
However individuals of the past ate a pasty, Cornish Pasty has proven popular around not only greater Phoenix but the state as well. With locations scattered from Tempe to Phoenix, Jerome to Mesa, there is a good chance you’ve stopped by (or at least seen) one of the Cornish Pasty restaurants. In fact, it has proven so popular the local chain has pushed outward to Nevada and Las Vegas.
The newest location was recently announced, as it will make the move into the Gaslight Building (originally known as the Sine Building) in downtown Glendale. While not as historical as the pasty, the Gaslight Building has been around for nearly 100 years. Once acting as a bed and breakfast, the bed portion of the building (the top floor) has been partitioned off and sold as condos and apartments. The main floor of the building has also changed hands numerous times. However, it will house the latest edition of the Cornish Pasty Company beginning early next year.
The menu features several Signature Pasties, including The Oggle (a traditional pasty filled with steak, potato, onions, rutabaga, and a side of red wine gravy or ketchup), Lamb and Mint, Bangers and Mash, Meat and Cheese, and Shepherd's Pie. But in total, there are dozens of pasty options to choose from.