Now, Stargazey Pie may sound like more of a meal than an event but it’s actually a little bit of both. The now-famous pie started out as a reward for a heroic local fisherman after he sailed out into a storm to bring back fish for the starving people of Mousehole. He returned triumphant with seven different types of fish, which the people of the village made into a pie and shared amongst themselves.
To this day, the 23rd December is marked by baking and eating Stargazey Pie to remember the bravery of the fisherman who risked his own life for his neighbours. The pie traditionally contains pilchards and is baked with the heads of the fish poking through the top – so it’s something of a spectacle as well as a legend. Some prefer to just lie the fish heads on the top rather than poke them through, but it’s thought the tradition of having the fish peer through the top started with the Victorians.
It’s not quite clear just how true the legend is, (as it seems strange that the villagers managed to come up with the ingredients to make the pie if they were actually starving but for the fish!) – but if nothing else it always adds to the December festivities that have made the village famous. You'll be able to sample the pie at various pubs in Mousehole on 23rd December.