A Short History of The Pie

Posted on November 19th, 2014

The word pie can be traced back to the early 14th century as a traditional English dish, but the delicious pastry treats had been enjoyed for more than ten millennia before then.

In 9500 BC, our Stone-Age ancestors knew they were onto a good thing with their pies, filling a crust of oats with honey. This sweet variant appears on the walls of tombs in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt eight thousand years later: the humble pie had definitely gone up in the world.

The Greeks took the idea from the Egyptians, and the Romans, in turn, nicked it from the Greeks, whose savoury pies were designed to keep in and absorb delicious meaty juices. As the Romans conquered and expanded, so did the domain of the mighty pie, which by the 6th century, was a staple of northern European countries, with regional variants of the dish being adapted to the available produce; the Cornish Pasty is perhaps the most famous example.

The word pie was well-known in England by 1362, and has been a well-known English dish since. The first fruit pies were probably created in the 16th century, with the first cherry pie attributed to Queen Elizabeth I. Vegetarian pies can also be delicious, but in terms of filling, you can’t get much more English than a classic steak and kidney, perhaps with stewed or jellied eel on the side. Arments Pie and Mash has been serving this traditional English dish for the last hundred years, as an extremely proud contributor to the rich history of the pie.

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