THE HISTORY OF PIES
There are references to Pies throughout history going back as far as the Ancient Egyptians! Between building pyramids and what not, they invented a pie type dish where a honey filling was topped with an oat based crust. There was even a recipe found on a tablet its thought was carved before 2000 BC. Ancient Greeks and Romans also have pies written into their historical tapestries and it’s the latter (with their roads of course) that brought Pies to Great Britain – with references to ‘Pie’ first recognised in the early 14th Century.
From here – the reputation of the Pie increased greatly and you’d be hard pushed to find a medieval royal feast without a mention of a Pie somewhere! Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal famously recreated a number of medieval pies in his series Heston’s Feasts – most notably probably in episode two when he recreated ‘Blackbirds baked in a pie’ from the nursery rhyme ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’.
Pies became a sort of food challenge, with pastry chefs trying to outdo one another for the centrepiece of grand feasts. Shakespeare even killed off two characters by having them baked into a pie in Titus Andonicus!
American’s will lay claim to pies, and it’s true they’re well ‘baked’ into American history – but only once British explorers had taken across the Atlantic from Great Britain. American pies are generally more fruit based though, and that term ‘American Pie’ in itself has been made world famous by Don Mclean, Madonna and of course, Jim, Stiffler and the gang!
Pies continue to evolve as do our diets, habits and more importantly in the last two decades, intolerances. Pastry and fillings have had to evolve to cater for vegetarian, vegan diets and gluten free diets to be ever available to the masses.
What’s your favourite pie? Get in touch and let us know!