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A Mexican wave to the ‘oggy’

As football fans cast their eyes towards Latin America for the World Cup did you know that the beautiful game was introduced to Mexico by Cornish miners?

The country’s first ever football match was played in Pachuca, in 1900, between Cornishmen, who were the original squad for Mexico’s first football club – Pachuca Athletic.

And soccer is not the only legacy left behind by the miners, who first established a Cornish community in the country in the 1820s. Their mining expertise and technology was recognised worldwide, and from that time until the 1930s the miners were invited to Mexico to help rebuild the mining industry that had been shattered by the war of independence from Spain.

There are hints of Cornish architecture in the state of Hidalgo, where the mines were concentrated, and Cornish hymn singing and wrestling were early entertainments. And one dining legacy is still a local speciality – the Mexican version of the Cornish pasty.

Visitors to this year’s Eden Project’s popular World Pasty Championships can find out more at a workshop revealing the secrets of the ‘paste’, a Latin American version of the Cornish pasty and adapted from the original recipes.

The paste is typically produced in Hidalgo and is made with a variety of fillings, including beef, potatoes, onions, leeks, butter, parsley, plus the vital Mexican ingredient of chilli.

The workshop will be run by Marion Symonds, a renowned Cornish baker who has visited the area twice with the Cornish Mexican Cultural Society and made a special visit to deliver the Cornish Mining World Heritage plaque to a Cornish cemetery.

She said:” Mexico is an amazing place and Hidalgo has a fascinating shared heritage with Cornwall. The paste is a delicious Central American take on the pasty and I aim to inspire Eden visitors to introduce a taste of Mexico to their own oggy creations.” Marion has now introduced a Mexican chilli pasty to the menu at her Portreath Bakery.

Eden will be open until 9pm on Saturday March 1st, the day of the championship, and there will be live music, skating on the ice rink, and the ‘Oggy Oscars’ awards ceremony to look forward to, as well as plenty of sampling.

Guests at CLC World’s Cornish resorts Hustyns and Trenython Manor will find that the world famous Eden Project is an easy drive away, and is one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions.

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