Thursday, March 06, 2008

Pie are squared

That's maths that is: generalising and oversimplifying things as always. Pies are not always squared, sometimes they're rounded or rectangulared. I always cut mine up into 3.142 pieces, mind. Mmm, π is good.

Anyway, did you know it's British Pie Week this week? I was wholly unaware (as opposed to being unwholely unaware, in which case I would be slightly aware, but not altogether so) until dinnertime today when conversation in the workplace turned to the fact, and I was ordered to announce my favourite pie filling and format.

There were audible gasps upon my contention that the finest pie filling/format combo is steak and ale pie served in a bowl and topped off with a crisp puff pastry lid. This is heavenly because (a) the sensation of breaking up the puff pastry with a fork and sinking it into the simmering ale-filled juices is hugely liberating, and akin to riding a horse bareback through the countryside (which I often enjoy doing), and (b) the presence of the dish rather than complete pastry encasement means the 'filling' performs like a stew and allows for full and flavoursome ale insemination.

I've had this debate many times. Some people just don't like flaky puff pastry, whereas some can't cope with the idea of not being able to hold a pie in their hand. My friend Deano, 24, from Preston, has even suggested it is somehow 'un-Northern' to enjoy the bowl/puff pastry format, which in my mind is a hugely misguided view and amounts to Pie Fascism. Don't get me wrong; I enioy a shortcrust encased hand-held pie as much as anybody. But when seeking the zenith of pie-based culinary sensations, I'm puff all the way.

10 Comments:

Anonymous michael said...

Since birth I've always believed that pies are best hot.... that was until I was forced to eat a cold corned beef pasty from Greggs. It was a whole new sensation; crispier, meatier... I sat, beatific in the bright glow of the office garden and tasted the finest pie my lips have ever encountered. Of course most other pies are still best hot, but it makes you think...

March 07, 2008 9:00 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

It does indeed make you think, but mainly about whether or not a pasty should be considered a pie. Although it does meet the main criteria of a pie in that it features (a) pastry and (b) filling, I'm not altogether happy with it.

And anyway, hot is best, and I'd always advise against corned beef.

Me and you are worlds apart.

March 08, 2008 1:03 pm  
Anonymous michael said...

This is similar to the famous Jafa Cake debate. For me it is clearly a cake; hence 'Jafa CAKE.' However, you cannot rule out the rumors that it was a clever marketing idea, and that secretly, at heart, it is a buscuit.

At least I'm sure we can agree that Jafa Cakes should always be eaten cold?

March 08, 2008 3:52 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

You're nuts. Literally. You're so wrong I could eat you. Jaffa Cakes are clearly biscuits, and best consumed luke warm. Not that I ever eat them - I prefer boiled Bourbons.

March 10, 2008 10:21 pm  
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