Monday, March 26, 2012

Cornwall Adventure Part 1 - Penzance

Our Kernow, or as it is better known Cornwall adventure starts at the ancient market town of Penzance. In the Cornish language Penzance is known as Pen Sans, meaning "Holy Headland."

We loved going around and looking at the boats in the harbour, what clever names the boats have!

We would like very much to return and hop a ferry to the Isles of Scilly, at some point in the future. The snorkeling is supposed to be grand there.

The closest thing to Pirates of Penzance we came to, is trinkets at the shops.

I didn't have time, or facilities to cook on my adventure. We did however sample plenty of Cornish culinary treasures.

Cornish cream and fresh fish!

The fresh fish is self evident.

The cream is made by indirectly heating full-fat milk from cows using steam, or a water bath. They leave it in shallow pans to cool slowly. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms 'clots,' hence the name clotted cream. Cornish clotted cream has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) by European Union directive. The milk has to be produced in Cornwall and have a minimum of 55% fat content. The cream is used in creamed teas (more on those later, another blog), ice cream, fudge, etc. It is glorious!

Another food is Cornish Pasties (....more on those in a later blog, you can see bakeries flogging them everywhere though.

Another food item we saw about in Cornwall was Saffron bread and buns. It became popular in Cornwall, as Phoenician sailors bartered with the saffron to gain Cornish mined tin. When I get a few moments and the ingredients, I will whip up a batch and tell you all about it.

More pasties with a range of fillings....

An important figure in Penzance was Sir Humphrey Davy! His statue is well centred in Penzance, here is why:

"Davy was a British chemist best known for his experiments in electro-chemistry and his invention of a miner's safety lamp."

Read more:

Here you will also see the Cornish, St. Piran's (patron saint of tin mining) flag. The black and white/silver is to show the importance of mining in Cornwall. The black is ore burning and the white is the molten tin flowing from it.

You can see St. Michael's Mount from Penzance across Mounts Bay. The day we were there it was a bit foggy, but not too bad. You can see St Michael's Mount in the background from Penzance harbour.

As we drove away from Penzance and closer to Marazion, gateway to St. Michael's Mount.... came more into view.

St Michael's Mount is said Karrek Loes y'n Koes in Cornish meaning "grey rock in the woods." St. Michael's is a tidal island, it hosts a fortified house/castle, sub-tropical plants and is connected to Marazion by a man-made causeway. The crown of Cornwall!

There is a legend about how St. Michael's Mount:

Both the Giant's Cormoran, who built and dwelt in the Mount, and a neighbouring giant named Trecrobben, were cobblers at need, but they only had one hammer between them. When one wanted it he would bawl "Borrer thammer," and the thing would hurtle through the air from the opposite hill. One day, Cormoran was calling for it, his unsuspecting and rather short-sighted spouse came to the doorway to announce dinner, and she it was who received the hammer! Terrible was the Giant's grief as he rolled her body into the sea, for she was the last of the Giantesses, and - the pasties she baked were proper beauties!

Next stop on the Cornwall adventure will highlight Port Issac.


"It was fantastic to work in Cornwall partly because my family live there so I was able to do lots of visiting and eat lots of cake. They live all over Cornwall and all over Devon."

-Dawn French

No comments:

Post a Comment