Soup For The Mind

Cornish Potato Soup recipe


No one in the West wants to go back to talk about Polenta, Broccoli, or Potato Salad. At least not as long as historians can remember, at least. But if you were wondering why something called Potatoes and a green vegetable were considered the staple diet of the Aztecs, it would be because all three of these vegetables were thought to encompass the properties of mind.

These particular servings of vegetables are known as chilies. Just one ordinary chili, which is little more than a perfectly ripe chili pre-cooked and stewed with lard, is said to contain within itself the hormone testosterone. That’s right folks, the young nugget of potassium and iron contained in the chili was designed to help create antibodies within the human body to ward off evil spirits. New Mexico, which overlooks much of the state’s rich cultural and mineral rich heritage, is the only place in the United States where chile peppers are even easy to find.

Because the memory of Cornwall’s Potato Soup is latter than many other foods, it’s easy to see why it was often referred to as a meal for the soul as well as for the stomach. A perfect bowl of Cornish Potato Soup (as well as a bowl of the black fat porterhouse steak), is as much a symbol of bonding within the community as it is a perfect fit for a New Year’s food ritual. This soup is said to have originated first with the farmwives of Cornwall, U.K. in the 1840’s. Cornish farmers didn’t invent the dish however, as one of their foods was a surprisingly familiar flavor.

The growing of potatoes in the U.S.A. and in particular in the Oregon district was closely associated with the development of larger scale farming and the country’s bread basket. When the women of a particular Pennsylvania farm kept running out of potatoes, they would “cut” the spikes and then dough the potato into the Cornish Potatoes, a dish found so popular that it put Cornwall on the map.

Something of this enduring love for the potato can be found back to when George Washington first tasted them in 1776, though. Since then, it has become a staple of the American table. Today, because of their versatility, he also encouraged their use of “reduction”, the replacement of old vineyards with newer ones built around town, thus helping to insure their existence. And, it was also around this time that the first miners made their fortune by recycling copper and aluminum.

Rice is another food traditionally associated with Cornwall. The Cornish People are said to have farmed mainly on their own two-acre farm for over two centuries. As a result, one can find many comparison recipes between the island and its neighbors, for instance, for the wayward fish and chips; or the “yummies” such as Cornish sea bass and polish.

fish and chips

sea bass


bangers and mash

The setup quite often duplicates the same old worldliness of the food, just as often the visitors to Cornwall have a hint of the Old World in their present. The same goes for the carts and wagons, now world-famous for their travels around the world.

Another reason why Cornwall has not become a household name, even to this day, is that few people here really know much about it besides the occasional article in an issue of the paper. In the area known as Pit River, and popularly known as the island’s backyard, you can find a few restaurants with excellent cabinet refinishing, but they are far from being complete. You can eat some of the best bagels in the world right in the nursery, but you’ll have a tough time finding a place to sit down and eat one of the actual restaurants. To be honest, you need to travel a couple of counties south of here if you want to experience the kind of cuisine that the general public is familiar with.

However, if you make it a point to visit Cornwall on a regular basis, you’ll find that the food does change. Of course, it’s adaptable to any climate or situation, but there is no doubt that the culinary program here would be lessened in comparison of other areas. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however; it merely means that you’ll get results as a chef working in this style.

The biggest difference might come from the way the meals are put together. Chef’s styles differ from regular cooks. Bran flakes are laid out on the table for breakfast. Dinner is served much more differently. At least, until you find out about the methods of preparing food.

For instance, you won’t often find investment in the cooking style. Also, you won’t find the extensive use of involvements that characterized the cooking style in those TV shows.