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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Santa in Disguise

Originally published on Blogspot by Gethin Thomas on the 4th December 2021

At first glance I thought Santa had arrived early, but something was wrong, Santa does not wear blue. Today Christmas arrives in Kingsbridge in Devon and the main street, Fore Street is lined with stalls for a Christmas Market, selling everything you can imagine you might need for Christmas.

Much of it is local produce, food and alcohol, as well as sundry items of decoration and gift.

Down by the quayside was the Kingsbridge Town Cryer getting ready to announce the start of the festivities and tonight is the official switching on of the town lights. He is standing in front of the Christmas Tree that very nearly wasn't. After a threatened uprising by the local populace at the news that there would be no tree this Christmas, our overlords scented unrest and revolution so quickly changed their minds.

The Town Cryer is Roger Pinder who was happy to pose in front of the last minute Christmas Tree. Roger was also very insistent that I take a photo of the bell, an historic item, cast in 1742.

Holding to my promise a while ago to try and include pasties in as many posts as possible, I was pleased to see that next to the Christmas Tree was a stall selling pastry items, including pasties. They also had fresh Jalousie's which was a new one on me. Now while in one respect it was obvious that a Jalousie was an oversized, latticed, French sounding pasty, because there they were in front of me, I felt I needed to find out more.

Jalousie - is the French word for jealousy. It originated in 18th century France from the Italian word geloso, which means jealous, or screen, as in to screen something from view. Supposedly because of their slatted louvres, jalousie windows protect the interior of the house from jealous peering eyes. However, the origin of Jalousie dates back to the mid-18th century, derived from the French word “Jealousy” – permitting one to see without being seen.

So it seems so far like the pastry is named after it's appearance of a slatted louvre window. Officially the food Jalousie is described as a fruit or sweet pastry but these contain Boeuf and Coq, as we are going full French today. They even have the letter B and C crafted in pastry, to make sure you don't take home a coq instead of a boeuf. In monetary terms the exchange rate here seems to be roughly three Pasties to a Jalousie, making the traditional British Pasty the winner by a head.

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