Tuesday, August 6, 2013

In Search of the Perfect Pasty

Home Grain Bakery on Urbanspoon

I'm a South Australian.

It is a fact of which I'm particularly proud.

My football team is the Adelaide Crows.
I have been known to pour Farmer's Union Iced Coffee over my cornflakes.
I possess the 'long A' found in dah-nce, prah-nce and cah-stle (not the nasally inflected dance, prance and castle found in other states of Australia)
There is a great pride in being half an hour behind in time and fifteen years behind in fashion.
I'm aware of people who still sport mullets, shoulder pads and chambray denim.
Like most in Adelaide, I fear having to tackle the Dequetteville Terrace roundabout - even though I drive in Melbourne traffic doing hook turns regularly.

I''m also very, very fond of the humble pasty. Possibly because I'm mostly from Cornish stock, maybe because in my nearly 45 years of life I've never eaten a meat pie. Mum was telling me that when my aunt visits from Canberra, she has a pasty for lunch every day. Must be a family thing.

I love pasties - but living in Melbourne, I really find that I'm at a loss to find a good one in the city. One of my workmates discussed this today - good pasties are not going to be found in the Melbourne metropolitan area - prove me wrong in you must.

For me, finding a good pasty takes a trip home to Adelaide.

And I think I've found one of the best pasties I've ever had.

The Home Grain Bakery, found on Old Coach Road, Aldinga,  is on the way home to my mother's place at Myponga.

And here I was thinking that the only things that came out of Aldinga were school bullies and the odd almond
and olive tree.

My friend SJ tipped me off to the existence of the place the last time I was in Adelaide. She shared some muffins and 'snot blocks' (vanilla slices) to die for.

Finding myself driving down to Myponga last Saturday lunchtime, I made a beeline for the joint - after calling my mother to tell her to not to make me any lunch. I value SJ's recommendations - her knowledge of the food of the Fleurieu Peninsula is encyclopedic - and she did not let me down.

I was greeted by friendly staff on entering the door. Blown away by this, I was then stunned at the array of cakes, pies, sausage rolls and pasties on display. It's incredible.

First things first - lunch. I asked for a pasty - I was offered a selection of four or five. They have Cornish Pasites, wholemeal pasties, vegetarian pasties.... such a selection.

Being a simple South Australian, I ordered a traditional Cornish Pasty - as well as a snot block - oops, vanilla slice - and a coffee for the trip home. After detailing what a snot block was to the girl behind the counter and paying my money I was given my manna.

The coffee and the snot block were eaten in the car before driving the last 20 minute stint back to Mum's. The vanilla slice was one of the better ones I've ever had - glorious, not too stodgy, not too sweet, flaky pastry. Wonderful. The only thing that would have made it even better would be if I had let it rest to room temperature. Snot blocks are even better when the custard is allowed to soften.

The pasty I kept for when I got back to Mum's place - where it was duly heated up and drowned in tomato sauce - which is just the way I like them. Five minutes in a readied oven when I arrived home and lunch was ready. The lightest of flaky pastry, a good mix of vegetables, meat and spice - and a great ratio of pastry to filling. Just what you want from a Cornish pastry.

Just what an errant Croweater living in Melbourne craves on a trip back home.

This is a seriously good bakery - seriously, wonderfully, sinfully good. Their muffins are just amazing (Thank SJ for introducing me to them), the vanilla slices are excellent, as are the pasties. The coffee reached Melbourne standards as well.

This is place that begs a visit, whether you're on a road trip to Victor Harbor, wandering the wineries of McLaren Vale, or like me, making my way to Myponga to my mother's place to fix up her computer (That's why septuagenarians have adult children - isn't it?)

Going by the traffic going through when I was there, this place is pretty legendary.

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