I know I haven’t written much lately, but that is all about to change. I have been collecting a lot of material for you to read, should the mood strike you and it’s just a matter of me sitting still long enough to get it all done.
Firstly, I think I should expound a little on this notion of “pie”. Now, pie, as I was most aghast to discover, is not a universal concept. In America, there is no pie, at least not in the sense that members of the commonwealth think of “pie”.
In America, if you order a pie at a restaurant, you’re likely to get a fruit pie, such as apple pie, or blueberry pie, perhaps pumpkin pie if it’s thanksgiving, or maybe even pecan pie (pronounced “pee-kahn”) if you’re fortunate enough to be in the South.
So, you can imagine my dismay when, after asking my colleagues where I could get a “real” pie I was met with looks of resigned despair. You see, my Australian & New Zealand colleagues had been sans real pie for over a year. In fact, while I was there, two of my workmates pooled their money and shipped a whole crate full of Australian pies to America. I can still hear the excited words relayed to me by Richard when someone called him up after indulging in his first pie: “it was bloody brilliant, mate”. That just goes to show how deprived they were since everyone knows Australian pies are actually bloody awful.
I have to confess, I started feeling a little pie-sick myself towards the end of my stint in Texas. We managed to find an “English” pub in Texas, which was about as remotely English as a “Texas” bar in New Zealand would be remotely Texan. There was English beer, there was English dÃ©cor, but it just wasn’t the same. The “English pie” was, in fact, a pot pie. Which isn’t really a pie at all, it’s more like a stew with pastry on top. Quite distressing, really.
So, just what is a pie? Well, my American friends: feast your eyes on the culinary delight I have inserted in as images to this post. This thing oozing onto your screen is a steak and cheese pie: a staple of the New Zealand diet. A few hours after touching down at Auckland International Airport, I was sitting down in a New Zealand food court, savouring my steak & cheese pie smothered in Watties tomato sauce. At its essence, a pie is quite simple. It’s a savoury pastry filled with a savoury filling, usually containing some form of meat. Common pies include: steak & kidney, chicken & mushroom, steak & cheese etc. More exotic pies include butter chicken, lasagne and bacon & egg (for breakfast, of course).
When I burst into the Pastry Pitt (the local pie place) with my fancy camera and started taking pictures of the pies for the purpose of my blog post, the proprietor (an old Asian gentleman, of course) was most concerned and treated me very nicely, perhaps in case I was here to inspect the pies. I am glad to say the pies meet with my approval.
Oh, and the title of this post is in deference to obscure Internet culture.