4380 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Hours: 7 am – 4 pm
Painted Saints – homemade pasties with delicious drinks – the perfect accompaniment to Chapel Hill on this stretch of Hawthorne Blvd. Owner Steve Noble is serving up his favorite childhood food, the pasty (Pass-Tee) and a few of his favorite beverages from his years as a barista and working in the food industry.
“I grew up in Nevada City where we ate pasties all the time. The first pioneers to settle here were gold miners and one of their traditional foods was the Cornish pasty,” Noble said. This food became a staple of the region and was part of everyone basic meal planning recipes.
(An interesting aside is that every year in Grass Valley, near Nevada City, people would make thousands of pasties for the St. Piran’s Day celebration where a pasty-tossing contest was the highlight of the day. Piran was the patron saint of Cornwall.)
The original pasty came from the mining town of Cornwall, England, an area rich in copper and tin mines. The ingredients were available year around, they were easy to hold and eat and miners could keep them warm in their tin lunch pails over a gentle flame down in the mine. These pasties were savory, but sometimes they would have something sweet at the bottom for a dinner and a dessert. To be called a Cornish pasty, it needs to consist of four ingredients: steak, potato, onion and rutabaga. Noble joked that in England there is even an overseer group that makes sure anyone serving a Cornish pasty is using these ingredients.
There’s great folklore surrounding the pasty. One in particular makes you realize that people were aware of the hazards of their job. They would throw the end of their pasty crust into the bottom of the mine to satisfy the “evil spirits” and to keep from eating the dirt or arsenic left on it from their hands.
Noble taught himself how to bake and, with the help of family members and friends who had tried and true recipes, he perfected the different pasties he serves at Painted Saints. Yes, there is a “Cornish” pasty Noble calls “The Traditional.” This one is also available in a veggie and vegan version.