To understand how a bit of British legacy can be found in Hidalgo, Mexico, we must look back two centuries to the heyday of Cornwall’s mining industry.
As I squeezed my way through the crowd, Marion Symonds was busy crimping one side of a 4.5m-long pasty in the central plaza. All eyes were on this Cornish baker as she held the still-malleable pastry shell in her hands, delicately crimping the edges of the dough with her fingertips to seal in the beef, potato and onion.
Looking at the sloping red roofs and manicured gardens around us, you’d have thought Symonds and I were somewhere in our native England. In fact, we were in the tiny town of Real del Monte in the central Mexican state of Hidalgo. At the other end of the oversized snack, a local chef was crimping the Mexican way, slapping the pastry shut with the side of a hand atop a table.
To understand why a giant Mexi-Cornish pasty was being made in an English-looking town in central Mexico, we must go back two centuries to what Bridget Galsworthy Estavillo of Mexico’s British Society calls ‘the backbone’ of the story: the arrival of Cornish miners in Mexico.
In the early 19th Century, Cornish tin miners were known around the world for their state-of-the-art mining equipment and, consequently, their expertise in operating it. As such, they and their advanced machinery were called to Mexico by the Company of Gentleman Adventurers in the Mines of Real del Monte to help mine silver, Galsworthy Estavillo told me.
After landing in Veracruz on Mexico’s east coast in 1825, the first wave of Cornish miners made the 400km journey west to the Central Highlands of Mexico where they set to work extracting silver, simultaneously establishing tight-knit British communities and welcoming new waves of Cornish migrants practically each year up until 1840.
For the rest of this article: http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180520-a-piece-of-britain-lost-in-mexico