Posted on November 7th, 2023
Posted on March 3rd, 2022
It’s all about the pie!
Yes, that right, here in the UK we eat millions of pies every year, making them the nation’s ultimate comfort food. So, join us in embracing British Pie Week – yet another fantastic opportunity to celebrate all that’s great about this truly delicious national food!
The savoury pie had been a traditional British food for some time due to its compact size, which made it easy for people to eat it on the go. Today, the most popular of all pies is steak and kidney pie, with apple pie being the most popular sweet pie. You can view the top 5 favourite pies here.
Definition of a Pie
A baked dish of fruit or meat and/or vegetables with pastry on the bottom, sides, and the top.
Origins of the Pie
Historians believe that the Greeks actually originated pie pastry. The pies during this period were made by a flour-water paste wrapped around meat; this served to cook the meat and seal in the juices. The Romans, sampling the delicacy, carried home recipes for making it (a prize of victory when they conquered Greece).
The early colonists cooked their pies in long narrow pans calling them “coffins” – spelled coffyns in 12th-century English. This referred to self-standing pastry made from flour, water, and sometimes fat. They were a type of medieval Tupperware, because the coffins preserved the foods they contained.
Meat pie is found in the Neolithic Period, around 9500 BC. The ancient Egyptians’ diet featured basic pies made from oat, wheat, rye, and barley, and filled with honey and baked over hot coals.
Fruit pies or tarts (pasties) were probably first made in the 1500s. English tradition credits making the first cherry pie to Queen Elizabeth I. Pie came to America with the first English settlers.
Ever wondered where the pie sayings come from? Check out our website here for pie trivia! It’s not all ‘pie in the sky’!
Pie and mash
Pie and mash is traditionally a working-class food that originated in East London. Pie, mash, and jellied eels have been served in London since the 19th century, with the first Pie and Eel House being recorded even earlier than the first fish and chip shop. This was Henry Blanchard’s at 101 Union Street in Southwark in 1844. They are still to be found in London today, though with many Londoners moving out, there is a growing trend for small independent shops to open across England now.
Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the eel pie was popular. This was because the eels were plentiful in the River Thames at this time, being one of the few fish that could survive its polluted water. Later, for a higher price, mutton or inexpensive minced meat could be used instead of eels as a pie filling. After the Second World War, the eel supply declined and beef became cheaper so the minced beef steak pie became popular – Back in 1914 when we took over our first Eel and Pie House at 386 Walworth Road, the eel pie was on our menu, alongside a steak and steak & kidney pie options, plus various fruit pies.
Potatoes were later served as an accompaniment so that pie and mash became a wholesome sit-down meal. This meal was made even more special with the addition of a sauce, known as liquor, which was made from the water used to cook the eels and flavoured with parsley and seasoning.
At Arments today we still make our pies fresh every day from scratch – mincing our beef steak from Ireland and Scotland to making the dough, putting them together with our secret seasoning, with no addition of fillers, packers, gravy, or gravy browning, just high-quality beef giving our pies their unique and traditional flavour. You’ll also find our steak & kidney pies on the menu, along with our new vegan pie, made with minced soya and vegetables. For those of you who like a sweet treat; we have various fruit pies available every week.
Promotional Offers for British Pie Week
Enjoy a 10% discount by using code WELOVEPIES10 when you order online from us between Monday March 7th – Saturday March 12th.
Wishing you all a very Hap-pie week!
Posted on November 7th, 2023
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