by Steve Heller Today I took a trip to Cornwall’s Hollywood, AKA Portreath, to try a Portreath Bakery pasty. I had read a story in the West Briton, about Portreath Bakery opening a “Drive Through” Pasty Shop or “Drive By” as I like to call it. In the past, I’ve not been a fan of their Pasties and the last time I tried one was february 2014, when we had the storms that wrecked Portreath Pier! On my Facebook yesterday I posted a comment, saying I wasn’t a fan of their pasties and after a string of comments and likes, I thought it wasn’t fair to judge the pasty from a year ago! So today, my wonderful wife Gemma, my son Ethan and me headed down to check them out!
My wife went into the bakery to buy me a medium steak! On her return, she commented on how gross the harbour smelt! If you know Portreath, you know that the harbour smells eggy, like someone has done a massive fart!
The pasty was in a nice branded bag, hot like it was straight out the oven.
When I opened the bag, my first impression was, the pastry hasn’t changed from the last time I tried it! A thin shortcrust pastry. So thin and glazed, it had a sponge like texture. The crimp was very thin, which I like, but it was a bit raw on one spot! I thought, this maybe because the pasties were too close together when they were baked off!
I bit into my oggy and was pleasantly surprised! It tasted fresh, warm and like a decent pasty! The veg was chipped and not diced, which gave it a homemade feel. The thin pastry and the small crimp, did give it slightly more innards, when comparing the “Innards to Pastry Ratio” The seasoning had plenty of salt, but it did seem to lack pepper! Personally, I like my pasty ‘ot and peppery. The lack of pepper wasn’t the end of the world and I know a lot of people who prefer it that way!
I’m not going to lie, it was nice! So nice, I started smashing the pasty and eating it like i’ve never eaten before! My wife Gemma, who isn’t a huge pasty fan, asked to try a piece, before I accidentally bit my fingers off. She liked it too! My thoughts were “This pasty shop has definitely upped its game from over a year ago, when I last tried it!”
One thing that was on my mind though – the meat! As you know, in shop pasties, there’s nothing worse than eating a pasty containing one big lump of meat in the middle! This gives the impression that, whoever made the pasty didn’t show their love and affection for the dish and that makes me sad. 😦
The first 3 bites were veg. Then on the 4th, I got to the meat! Sadly, the meat was in a bit of a lump. It did taste nice, fresh and not tinged with that sourness that I’ve experienced with other pasties. The lump was sat on the opposite side of the crimp, like someone had just slapped it in there, without the love it deserved! It spoilt the moment. One minute i’m in heaven and in an instant, I’ve turned into your stereotypical moaning Cornishman! Such a shame!
I bit through the middle of the pasty and was expecting all the meat to disappear. But to my surprise, the lump continued right through to the end, like a vein of tin down Crofty Mine!
Looking at the innards, you could see meat one side and veg the other and not spread evenly throughout! I was still holding onto the fact that it was a hot, fresh and really really tasty! Bleddy ansome!
Getting to the end of the pasty now and we were in gravy territory… The pasty didn’t have as much gravy as I was hoping! The whole pasty wasn’t dry, it was moist, from top to bottom, but it had the same slightly moist consistency throughout and no gravy. A few weeks ago, I tried a West End Pasty and that was oozing with gravy, to the point that, as I was eating it, I was making erotic noises the whole time! Gravy would have made this Portreath pasty, as the taste was so good! Overall, I would say this pasty is an average shop pasty and has improved in the last year! It has a nice chipped veg, holds a tasty flavor, with a light pastry and crimp. It’s a reasonable price. However, the distribution of meat and veg is not for me! I like an even distribution of meat throughout the pasty, from corner to corner. It also lacked pepper and gravy for my liking! But remember, these are only my opinions and for what it’s worth, I could see some people rating this pasty as their number 1!
Would I buy it again – Yes. I think it will do really well as a drive through pasty. If you compare its price to other drive by foods, it’s an absolute bargain and tastes really good! I’d sooner have a drive by pasty than a Mc Donalds or KFC any day!
7 out of 10