With the nights getting colder, and the days getting shorter, there aren’t many Autumnal meals out there that are as comforting as a piping hot pie.
Some of us prefer to peel the top layer off, tucking into the base and leaving the lid (the best part) for last. Others prefer to cut through the pie in its entirety, enjoying all the layers with every single forkful. There are even people who swear by turning it upside-down, as it’s easier and less messy to cut through the soft pastry at the bottom! Whichever way you fancy eating it, the point is, Brits LOVE pies, and we’ve pulled together a few reasons why…
To truly understand our passion for pie, we should first understand how we discovered these small cases of golden goodness. Pie-like dishes have been around for ages, since the Egyptian times to be precise, but we can thank the Romans for coming up with the idea of enclosing a filling inside a pastry, simply made from flour and oil. That said, the pie we’re more familiar with today, can be traced back to Northern Europe, where butter and lard were used instead of olive oil (which was scarce at the time), and we all know what a difference a buttery pastry makes! Savory pies became really popular during the medieval times, especially amongst the wealthy nobles, where pastries were shaped into over the top arty table-top decorations. Fun fact, the pastry was primarily used just to hold the ingredients while cooking, and later discarded or given to poor people. (Sacrilege!)
We can’t talk about our love of pie without talking about the texture. Food experts can confirm the crunchiness, smoothness, or crispiness of a meal is just as important as the flavours – otherwise we’d all live on vegetable juice and be skinny and miserable. Michael Bourne of Cornwell University even wrote a whole book about the importance of food texture, saying “we have a deeply ingrained need to chew”, and studies have been carried out where only 40% of pureed food samples could even be identified. The point is, the texture of the beloved pie has it all. The flakey texture of the top layer, the crunchy texture of the pastry, plus the tender, juicy filling inside, whether it’s meat or a mix of vegetables! What more could you ask for really?
Nostalgic eating is a thing – We’ve all had those moments where we’ve got a whiff of a certain smell, that transports us straight back to a very vivid memory from our childhood, almost making us relive the experience again. Since Brits have been pie fans for centuries, the chances that you’ve had multiple feel-good family moments with a pie in hand, are pretty high. As odor-evoked memories tend to be happy ones, the smell of the pie will automatically improve your mood, producing strong feelings of social connectedness.
According to a survey by Nisa Retail Limited, 91% of Brits think that Pies are the ultimate comfort food, with 92% saying a pie makes for the perfect meal the whole family can enjoy. Another survey by oven cleaning experts Ovenu, found Pukka was the nations’ number one brand, followed by supermarket own labels. Pukka have recently released a few new pies for us to sink our teeth into including a new ‘Posher’ range. The new fancy flavours include Chicken, Leek and Pancetta, or Steak and Porter Ale. They’ve also just released their first Veggie Tikka Masala with Chickpeas and Spinach – available from supermarkets nationwide, for more info see www.pukkapies.co.uk.
Whether you’re an avid Steak & Ale fan or a veggie pie nut, we can all agree that these flavoursome pastries we’ve come to know and love, truly are one of the most comforting hearty meals out there! With a pie on your plate, everything’s Pukka.
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