rcharlesworth
As part of British Pie week we are celebrating the good, the bad and the ugly pies.  Here are a few bad ideas...

pickle pie.jpg 

There are a lot of strange pie flavours out there and the annual Strange Pie Contest in California aims to create even more.

The aim of the event is for the general public to submit their "freakiest, oddest, most non-traditional, (and yet still delicious) pie", and is responsible for wonders such as the 'Pickle and Peanut Butter pie', 'The Club pie' (that's French fries, bacon, and mayonnaise), and the 'Candied Peppers and Chocolate pie'.

Pie used to be illegal

Sort of. In 1644, Oliver Cromwell banned pie as he decided it was a "pagan form of pleasure". It wasn't a complete and utter ban on pies, though - just a ban on Christmas celebrations and foods that were associated with the "pagan" holiday, such as mince pies, turkey, and Christmas ale. 

The ban was eventually lifted in 1660.

People send eel pie to the royal family every jubilee or coronation

It's one of those painfully British traditions that just wouldn't make sense anywhere else. For every jubilee or coronation the people of Gloucester send pie to the Royal household made from lampreys, a locally sourced eel-like fish.

The odd tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, when lamprey was considered a treat. It used to be so popular, King Henry I was rumoured to have died of food poisoning in 1135, thanks to his eating "a surfeit of lampreys". Even Samuel Pepys mentioned them in his diaries, calling them a favourite of "medieval epicures".

The rich used to put live animals in their pies

In 16th century England "surprise pies" where live animals would jump out when the pie was cut open were strangely popular among the upper class.

All kinds of creatures could be placed inside the pies, including frogs, squirrels, foxes and, as one nursery rhyme says, "four-and-twenty blackbirds." Some records even suggest that at a dinner attended by Charles I, a huge pie was placed on the table and when the crust was removed, a dwarf jumped out from the pie.

More tomorrow...

Source: Telegraph, UK

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