Tiddly Oggies – A Family Recipe

We’ve been making our famous Tiddly Oggie for over a hundred years now. It has often been said that food is what brings family and local communities together and this is one recipe that has stayed in the Ferguson Plarre family!

The History of the Tiddly Oggie

Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses have been baking award-winning Tiddly Oggies for over 107 years! We are proud to have the Tiddly Oggie as one of our most popular products and invite you to come and try our signature Original Tiddly Oggies .

In Cornwall, a pastie is often called an “Oggie”, and while it is unclear as to where the word originated, some suggest it is derived from hoggan, a kind of bag in which the miners carried their croust.

The Cornish miners’ wives developed a simple pastry-cladded envelope, which kept the food warm and free of dust while their husbands worked in the mines. The term became particularly popular in Devonport and Plymouth, where sailors called them “tiddly oggies” (also referred to as Tiddy Oggies or a Tiddy Oggy). Tiddly in naval slang means ‘proper’, a common adjective and adverb used by Cornish people, and so “tiddly oggie” meant proper pastie.

The root crops and vegetables in the Tiddly Oggie (and the baked apple that was commonly included) remained warm and free of dust because of the envelope of pastry that encased them. Deep underground in the mines, there were all kinds of sounds, and the miners sensed the presence of “the little men”. Legend has it that after the contents of the oggie had been eaten, the pastry would be left on the floor of the mine for these “Knockers” or ‘Knackers’ as they were called. The miners had little enough to give, and this offering was considered enough to satisfy the mischievous imps who were renowned for taking offence if slighted, but could be helpful if placated.

Eighteenth century accounts from up-county travellers to Cornwall tell of labourers bringing up their families on a diet of vegetables baked in a barley dough. In 1867 a West Briton report told of the subsistence level and revealed their great dependence on flour. Many of these early writers expressed surprise that both children and adults looked reasonably well nourished on what they considered a very poor diet. It was, of course, what we now know as a low-fat diet, and that’s where we stepped in.

Of course, having baked award winning Tiddly Oggies for over 107 years now, we’ve had time to perfect ours.