Don’t Mispronounce This Famous Montana Food or You’ll Get Roasted
A month or so ago I was talking on the radio about a certain food item. Apparently, I mispronounced the item. Because weeks later, as I walked into my father-in-law's house for a family dinner, my sister-in-law Jenny quickly cornered me. "I can't believe you said it wrong" were the first words out of her mouth, catching me a little off guard.
Behold the pasty.
She was shocked that I slipped up my pronunciation of the delicious, savory pasty, made popular in Montana largely by early immigrants in the Butte area. Said correctly, pasty (plural, "pasties") sounds like the word pass. Not paste. I vainly attempted to argue with my SIL, saying something like, "well, you can pronounce it either way." She was having none of my nonsense, reminding me of her family's longtime Catholic connection to the food, and proceeded to give me her you'd-better-believe there is only one correct way to pronounce pasty speech.
Pasties of a different kind.
Perhaps my pasty confusion comes from the other pasties (pronounced like "paste") that are used to cover a small portion of the female anatomy. These pasties can be used to narrowly skirt obscenity laws in jurisdictions where completely nude performances are not allowed.
They are SO yummy.
Traditional pasties are made with a savory mix of minced meat and diced vegetables in a light, gravy-like sauce, all wrapped up in a flaky pastry. Kind of like an original hot pocket. Rutabagas are a classic ingredient, but many times they're made with potatoes instead. Legend has it that Cornish immigrant miners in Montana liked pasties because they are easy to transport and eat, are very filling, and incorporate affordable ingredients. They reheat well too. The pasty is not a Montana exclusive. They can be found in many parts of the upper Midwest as well. As we get into Fall, I'll be making another batch again soon. I'll just remember to pronounce them correctly from now on.