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History of the humble pie.

 
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Wine and Food tube



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:36 pm    Post subject: History of the humble pie. Reply with quote

The history of the meat pie can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. The bakers to the pharaohs incorporated nuts, honey, and fruits in bread dough, a primitive form of pastry. Drawings of this can be found etched on the tomb walls of Ramses II, located in the Valley of the Kings.
Historians believe that the Greeks actually originated pie pastry. The pies during this period were made by a flour-water paste wrapped around meat; this served to cook the meat and seal in the juices. These were called “Artocreas”, and were simply a pastry crust, onto which cooked meat was spooned.
The Romans took it a step further by adding a top and bottom crust.

The nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence . . . four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie,” According to the rhyme, "When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing. Wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the King." In all likelihood, those birds not only sang, but flew briskly out at the assembled guests. Rabbits, frogs, turtles, other small animals, and even small people (dwarfs) were also set into pies, either alone or with birds, to be released when the crust was cut. The dwarf would emerge and walk down the length of the table, reciting poetry, sketching the guests, or doing tricks.



Early settlers bought the pie to Australia, which instantly gained popularity due to it’s basic, readily available ingredients. Mutton was used in early pies as in those days it was a lower price even than vegetables.

The golden crust meat and gravy snacks were available in Sydney in the mid-1800’s, often sold as a counter lunch in hotels.
In years to follow, pies were sold from pie carts which stopped near places of entertainment or where large groups gathered. The Pie Man was a common sight in the streets of Sydney and Melbourne, selling hot pies from a large tin box kept warm by a small charcoal stove. They progressed to horse-drawn contraptions, then to warmers on the back of a Chevy ute to access popular holiday destinations and sporting events.
In the first half of the 1900’s only fish & chips challenged the pie as the natural choice for hungry Australians.
Meat pies are still people’s first choice while they watch sporting matches. An Aussie rules Final crowd in Melbourne can consume 90,000 pies in a day
Prime meat cuts such as fillet steak, rump and sirloin do not necessarily make good pies as they lack the natural jelling agent collagen, which is spread throughout the meat fibers holding them together. In fact the better value cuts like knuckle, shanks and trimmed blade used in most Australian pies not only have a good collagen content but are high in protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12. These beef cuts are good quality and contain only about 5% fat.


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Dilbert



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>>>>>>>>The history of the meat pie can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. The bakers to the pharaohs incorporated nuts, honey, and fruits in bread dough, a primitive form of pastry. Drawings of this can be found etched on the tomb walls of Ramses II, located in the Valley of the Kings.

uhmmmm, okay. WHERE'S THE BEEF?
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Pie_Designs



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more interesting facts about the humble pie:

The first pies, called "coffins" or "coffyns" were savory meat pies with the crusts or pastry being tall, straight-sided with sealed-on floors and lids.

The purpose of a pastry shell was mainly to serve as a storage container and serving vessel, and these are often too hard to actually eat.

Since pastry was a staple ingredient in medieval menus, pastry making was taken for granted by the majority of early cookbooks, and recipes are not usually included. It wasn't until the 16th century that cookbooks with pastry ingredients began appearing. Historian believe this was because cookbooks started appearing for the general household and not just for professional cooks.

1545 - A cookbook from the mid 16th century that also includes some account of domestic life, cookery and feasts in Tudor days, called A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye, declarynge what maner of meates be beste in season, for al times in the yere, and how they ought to be dressed, and serued at the table, bothe for fleshe dayes, and fyshe dayes, has a recipe for a short paest for tarte:

To Make Short Paest for Tarte - Take fyne floure and a cursey of fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and a lyttel saffron, and the yolckes of two egges and make it thynne and as tender as ye maye.

1553 - From the English translation by Valoise Armstrong of the 1553 German cookbook Kochbunch der Sabina Welserine, includes a recipe for pastry dough:

* To make a pastry dough for all shaped pies - Take flour, the best that you can get, about two handfuls, depending on how large or small you would have the pie. Put it on the table and with a knife stir in two eggs and a little salt. Put water in a small pan and a piece of fat the size of two good eggs, let it all dissolve together and boil. Afterwards pour it on the flour on the table and make a strong dough and work it well, however you feel is right. If it is summer, one must take meat broth instead of water and in the place of the fat the skimmings from the broth. When the dough is kneaded, then make of it a round ball and draw it out well on the sides with the fingers or with a rolling pin, so that in the middle a raised area remains, then let it chill in the cold. Afterwards shape the dough as I have pointed out to you. Also reserve dough for the cover and roll it out into a cover and take water and spread it over the top of the cover and the top of the formed pastry shell and join it together well with the fingers. Leave a small hole. And see that it is pressed together well, so that it does not come open. Blow in the small hole which you have left, then the cover will lift itself up. Then quickly press the hole closed. Afterwards put it in the oven. Sprinkle flour in the dish beforehand. Take care that the oven is properly heated, then it will be a pretty pastry. The dough for all shaped pastries is made in this manner.

During the 14th century, the Duke of Burgundy's chef made an immense pie which opened to the strains of 28 musicians playing from within the pie. Out of the pie came a captive girl representing the "captive" Church in the Middle East.

15th Century
- At the coronation of eight-year old English King Henry VI (1422-1461) in 1429, a partridge pie, called "Partryche and Pecock enhackyll," was served.


16th Century -
In the English translated version of Epulario (The Italian Banquet), published in 1598, there is a recipe : To Make Pie That the Birds May Be Alive In them and Flie Out When It Is Cut Up.

1626 - Jeffrey Hudson (1619-1682), famous 17th century dwarf, was served up in a cold pie as a child.


1620 - The Pilgrims brought their favorite family pie recipes with them to America

1700s - Pioneer women often served pies with every meal, thus firmly cementing this pastry into a unique form of American culture.

1800s - Whenever Emperor William I of Germany visited Queen Victoria (1819-1901) of England, his favorite pie was served. It contained a whole turkey stuffed with a chicken, the chicken stuffed with a pheasant, the pheasant stuffed with a woodcock.

1880-1910 - Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), a.k.a. Mark Twain, was a big fan of eating pies. His life-long housekeeper and friend (she was with the family for 30 years), Katy Leary, often baked Huckleberry pie to lure her master into breaking his habit of going without lunch

1900s - The appetite of James Buchanan Brady (1856–1917), known as Diamond Jim Brady, a legendary glutton and ladies' man, was awesome. One dinner that Brady particularly liked to recall was arranged by architect Stanford White (1853-1906). A huge pie was wheeled in, a dancer emerged, unclothed, and walked the length of the banquet table, stopping at Brady's seat and falling into his lap. As she spoon-fed the millionaire, more dancers appeared and attended to the feeding needs of the other guests. Brady was known to finish lunch with an array of pies (not slices of different pies, but several pies). It was said that would begin his meal by sitting six inches from the table and would quit only when his stomach rubbed uncomfortably against the edge. Charles Rector, owner of " Rector's Restaurant" on Broadway in New York said he was "the best twenty-five customers I ever had."

Phew, that turned out to be a long post - I apologise, but hey, I love history and I love pie!!



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Michael Chu



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that was awesome. I love trivia!
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Pie_Designs



Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in South Africa the term "pie" is usually reserved for a savoury dish enclosed in pastry. You know the kind, chicken, beef, steak, steak & kidney, mutton curry (my favourite!) etc. Here when speaking of a "sweet pie" they are referred to as tarts. Tho I know in other parts of the world this is not the case and that the difference between a pie and a tart is usually the size.

But, don't get me started, I'll give you a history lesson in a variety of pie if you give me half a chance! Big smile
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Pie_Designs



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, couldn't resist these "trivia gems":

Oliver Cromwell banned the eating of pie in 1644, declaring it a pagan form of pleasure. For 16 years, pie eating and making went underground until the Restoration leaders lifted the ban on pie in 1660.

At one time it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas.

Teasing
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