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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 16:23 GMT
Devon invented the Cornish pasty
The document which lists the reference
The cost of the pasty is listed in a financial record
Cornish pasties may have actually originated in Devon, an historic document indicates.

Archivists have found the mention of a pasty in city records dating back to 1509 and 1510.

The reference to a "10d" pasty is included in an audited civic account book for Plymouth.

But a Cornish chronicler of the pasty hit back, saying that cave drawings revealed evidence of pasties in the county in primitive times.

Historian Dr Todd Gray said the earliest record of a Cornish pasty was in a Devon recipe in 1746.

A reference has now been found in a 16th Century document at the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office which reads: "Itm for the cooke is labor to make the pasties 10d."

Dr Gray said: "As far as we know it is the first reference in Devon and Cornwall to pasties."

'labour to make the pasty' is visible from the top line of the record
A version of the word pasty is visible in the top line

The item is thought to have been listed as an expense for an important civic event, as claret was also listed in the receivers' accounts record.

Dr Gray said the pasty of the time would have been bigger than today's, and with less meat.

"If we look at the evidence it is possible that it then spread west or that it was already there.

"At least we know that in the South West they have been eating pasties for 500 years."

However Les Merton, author of The Official Encyclopaedia of the Cornish Pasty, said evidence of the pasty could be found in Cornwall from 8,000 BC.

He said: "There are caves at the Lizard in Cornwall with line drawings of men hunting a stag and women eating a pasty.

"At that time it was wrapped in leaves and not pastry, but the leaves were crimped, so I would say there is positive evidence of pasties in Cornwall from primitive times."

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