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The pasty (say pass-tee, not pay-stee) began as a portable stew – meat and vegetables sealed inside a pastry crust — that Cornish miners used to carry with them for lunch. It stayed warm, could be heated on the end of a shovel, and its filling was thick enough that it did not require major knife-and-fork work. Long after the mines closed, it remained a popular dish in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where families from Cornwall had settled; and although the pasty has been eclipsed by fast food, the U.P. still is rich with pasty shops. Traditionally, pasties are filled with beef or beef and pork with chunks of potato, rutabaga, and onion. Today you will encounter gourmet pasties filled with steak, pizza pasties with pepperoni and mozzarella, Reuben pasties, chicken pasties, even vegetarian pasties for meat-phobes, and breakfast pasties packed with eggs and sausage.