Arments Recreate the Eel Pie for British Pie Week

Posted on March 8th, 2016

Eel Pie on Arment’s menu!BF1Z3463

To celebrate British Pie Week this week, we thought we would recreate a piece of history: the original eel pie, with which the business of pie, mash and liquor began.

This is the first time in at least  40 years,  since Roy and I have been running the shop, that eel pie has been on the menu and tried by  a select few! We set about delving into our history and imagined ourselves transported back to 1914 when Roy’s Grandparents,  William and Emily Arment, would have been baking,  in a coal fired oven,  a shop lit by gas lamps and saw dust on the floor, selling eel pies for 2d!

Outside horse drawn wagons would have clattered by along cobbled streets, the streets being packed with urchins and people buying goods and food from market stalls. The first pies contained eels because they were plentiful in the river Thames. They were a cheap and very nutritious form of food. Later, as demand grew, eels could be bought at Billingsgate, having been transported from Holland by Dutch eel boats.

Pies were sold by hundreds of pie-men and eels by street sellers who took their wares on braziers and carts, to London’s alehouses, fairs and to the races.

Emergence of the London pie shops

prom-18x12-smallStreet trade diminished with the emergence of London’s pie shops, whose owners allegedly enticed customers in with pies that were often larger than those traditionally sold on the street. Eels have a delicate flavour that goes well with mash so cheap potatoes were added as an accompaniment along with a parsley sauce known as liquor, made using the eel juices.

Hence, eel pie and mash became a sit down meal. The pie houses provided a hot, nutritious yet inexpensive food for London’s working classes. With the decline of fresh eels, mutton or inexpensive minced beef started to be used instead as a pie filling. Nowadays beef steak is the most popular pie filling by far.  To this day Arment’s are still making 100% pure beef steak pies, using the best quality from Scotland and Ireland.

Free bags & mugs for all!

To celebrate British Pie Week, we are giving away every day this week a FREE reusable food grade hessian bag or Arment’s mug with every purchase in store over £20, whilst stocks last!



1 comment

  1. MrA .F.Fuller says:

    Well Arments my Farther was Frank Fuller who supplied your dad with Potatoes.when I was 6 i would go to your old shop in Walworth road to have my mash and Liqor as I hated School dinners.My school was John Ruskin. now I am 71 and live in Cornwall.You made my day with your Postal pies .Every time I come to London I come to your shop in West Moreland rd.I will be placeing an order soon as the family is come into down on holiday it will be a treat for them.By for now keep up the Arments name there the best in London your the best better than all the rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More News