The Pembrokeshire Pasty

Whenever I try to explain succinctly to English people why Pembrokeshire is so wonderful, I find myself saying: “It’s like Cornwall, but better.”

I mean, of course, that it’s a place of narrow lanes, green hills, fantastic walks and amazing beaches.

One of Cornwall’s major claims to fame is the invention of the pasty – said to have been devised as a portable meal for tin miners in the 17th and 18th century.

However, there seem to be references to pasties in European history before that, dating back as far as the 13th and 14th centuries.

And Pembrokeshire’s pasty credentials appear to go back even further.

According to the St Davids Oggie shop, the city’s oggie (or pasty) “long preceded the Cornish variety with historical references as early as 1181 when it is thought they were served to stonemasons building our cathedral”.

Whatever the pasty’s true past, we can confirm that the oggies on sale in the shop in High Street, St Davids, are extremely tasty and tremendously filling.

Delights on offer include the Original Mason’s Oggie, the Full Welsh Breakfast Oggie and the Vegetarian Pilgrim’s Oggie – and if you have any room left, there is also a selection of sweet dessert oggies.

So, in more ways than one, Pembrokeshire looks to have Cornwall beaten!

Nigel Summerley

Nigel Summerley retired from The Oldie magazine to return to freelance journalism. He previously held executive staff jobs at the London Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Express before freelancing for 20 years for newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Guardian and the ‘i’ paper, plus a wide range of magazines. He continues to write about music, travel and health, and blogs at

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2 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    You learn something every day!