There’s a lot of debate around the actual definition of the word “pie”.
Pie-purists insist that the dish needs to be encased in pastry to deserve the name, but that excludes the good old Cottage Pie. Other says it just needs to be baked in some kind of a pie-like dish… after all, at one point in history everything baked in a crust (its just the the crust was actually the earth).
The truth is there is really no firm definition of what makes a pie. Fruit or meat, cheese or chocolate, filo or shortcrust. If they are in pie form, then they are generally pretty delicious
Read on to find out what pies creations people are eating around the world.
Britain (& Australia) – Cottage Pie
Cottage pie or shepherd’s pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato. Other iterations involved cottage pie being made from minced beef and shepherd’s pie from minced lamb, although historically there was no such differentiation.
Australia – Meat Pie
The Australian or New Zealand meat pie is a hand-sized meat pie containing largely diced or minced meat and gravy, sometimes with onion, mushrooms, or cheese and often consumed as a takeaway food snack.
Morocco – Moroccan Bisteeya
This Moroccan appetizer is a layered pie of eggs, chicken and almonds, all encased in a crispy pastry. Bisteeya is usually eaten by hand as are most great pies. Looks yummy eh.
If you like the sound of this, try our Country Chicken Pie
Phillipines – Filipino Buko Pie
Buko Pie Recipe is a popular Filipino delicacy in the southern regions of Luzon especially in Laguna Province. It’s made with a filling of young coconut meat, creamy coconut juice milk or condensed milk, cornstarch and sugar. This dessert is excellent for a mid-afternoon snack.
If you like the sound of this, you may like our Orange Rough
Britain – Cornish Pasty
Traditionally Cornish Pasties are from Cornwall in England, though you can find pretenders all over the U.K. these days. The traditional Cornish Pastie is filled with beef, potato, swede and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then baked in its famous semicircle shape.
If you like a Cornish Pasty, then you’ll definitely love a Tiddly Oggie. After all, Tiddly Oggie is cornish for “Proper Pastie”
Russia – Russian Coulibiac
A coulibiac is a Russian dish consisting of a filled pie usually made with salmon, sturgeon, rice or buckwheat, onions, dill and hard-boiled eggs. The pie is baked in a pastry shell that’s made usually out of brioche or puff pastry. The dish was so popular in Russia in the early part of the twentieth century that Auguste Escoffier, the famed French chef, brought it to France and included recipes for it in his masterwork “The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery.”
If you like the sound of this, why not try our Quiche Lorraine. What it lacks in salmon and sturgeon, it more than makes up for in taste!
Bolivia -Bolivian Salteñas
Though theoretically more pastry than pie, salteñas are savory pastries filled with beef, pork or chicken and mixed in a spicy sauce along with peas, potatoes and other savory ingredients.
They are traditionally eaten as a mid-morning snack, although vendors often start selling salteñas very early in the morning.
If you like the sound of a mid-morning snack, why not pick up a small Sausage Roll
Greece – Greek Spanakopita
Its name may be a mouthful to pronounce but this little Greek pie is actually small enough to be eaten as a snack. It is in the burek family of pastries with a filling of chopped spinach, onions and scallions, feta cheese, eggs and seasoning. The filling is wrapped or layered in phyllo (filo) pastry with butter and olive oil, either in a large pan from which individual servings are cut, or rolled into individual triangular servings.”
Spanakopita is a lovely greek pie, but we serve up a Gourmet Spinach Roll that is just as delicious!
Pies are such a versatile dish that they’re eaten in many cultures and assume many forms.
Though the apple pie comes from England (or Germany) it has been adopted and changed by the U.S. to the point where it’s now an American classic dish. The same goes for meat pies, they were first eaten in medieval Europe but they are now a staple classic throughout Australia and New Zealand.
No matter where you are in the world that culture probably has its own pie creation that reflects the people and their tastes and history.
Regardless of what kind of pie you’re eating, the pastry treat itself has a very long and practical history: when people first began cooking food in ovens there was little to protect the meat (and other ingredients) from the searing heat (there’s was no temperature dial on the world’s first ovens, believe it or not). As a result the juices would fizzle out and everything would burn rather quickly.
As a solution the bready dough was used to protect the meat from the fire and heat while it cooked, with a surprise result: the dough absorbed the juices of the meat as it cooked making the entire case and filling a dish in itself. And so we have the first pie. Since then pies have become a lot more complex taking on many different forms and decadent fillings.