Why Are Pork Pies so Wonderful?

Post 646

Pork Pie 1The pork pie. Is there anything more British? Anything more beautiful? Chopped pork and jelly wrapped in a sumptuous water crust pastry. Almost always eaten cold and as part of a snack. It is a legend of the food world. This round slice of heaven. They can be small. They can be large. They can be common, made with cured meat. Or they can be kings, such as the Melton Mowbray, uncured meat, perfectly handcrafted from a recipe passed down through the ages. So, so many variations. A food so great it even leant its name to the humble pork pie hat. And even has an appreciation society. This is more than food. It is a God amongst humankind. Can you tell I like pork pies?

The pork pie is 625 years old. The first was made in the kitchen of the Court of King Richard. And that recipe has hardly changed. The modern version is pretty much the same. It even survived the rise of the industrial food production age. Back then, every street in England had a pork butcher, each one serving a unique version of the delicious pork pie. Day after day, come rain or shine, queues as long as the streets themselves would line up to taste this most fine and fresh porky delight. Counties across the land vie for the attention of porkies, from Leicestershire, to Yorkshire, to Lincolnshire, to Norfolk. The pork pie is so popular, in fact, that some people have them at their weddings, instead of a cake. Four tiers tall, 14 inches across and weighing an incredible 44 pounds. We are pork pie mad!

British Pie Week takes place between March 5 and March 11 every year. The sale of pork pies makes up a staggering £145 million out of the £1 billion British pie industry. The Melton Mowbray is by far the most popular and by far the best, so popular that cheap knock-offs were starting to be produced. In response, Melton Mowbray got a European ‘protected designation of origin’, meaning that their version could only be produced in the town of Melton Mowbray. There’s even a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, whose chairman is one Matthew O’Callaghan. A vegetarian. Seriously. But only because of a bad meat experience in Bangkok in 1997…

And, obviously, the British are so in love with the pork pie that we do hold the record for the largest pork pie in history. Baked in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1998, this pork pie weighed an incredible 10 imperial tons. TEN! I think it’s probably Stratford-upon-Avon’s greatest claim to fame.

Yes, the British do love the good old pork pie. We are mad about them. And you know what, why shouldn’t we be? We invented this magical food. One with a colourful history. One that contributes massively to the British economy. One that tastes utterly heavenly.

One that is undeniably wonderful.

Ciao :)(:

1) A pork pie ‘wedding cake’ – ooh, it’s a bit sexy, isn’t it? (credit: thecountryvictualler.co.uk)

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The Indelible Life of Me
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