A Culinary Adventure: Exploring Pies From Around The World
Pies have been a beloved culinary creation for centuries, bringing together a perfect balance between flavours, textures and cultures. From sweet to savoury, flaky to crumbly, pies offer an endless array of possibilities which varies from country to country. Join us as we explore beloved pies from around the world and unravel secret ingredients and years of history behind these pies.
We have to begin with one close to our hearts:
British Classic – Steak & Ale Pie
The British Classic Steak and Ale Pie, originating in the heart of England, the Steak and Ale pie is a staple within British cuisine. Featuring tender chunks of beef cooked with vegetables and the finest English ale around with rich, savoury gravy topped with a buttery, flaky crust. Served with fresh vegetables and the choice of creamy mashed potato or pub chips. This is often labelled as British comfort food!
Australia’s Meat Pie – A Go-To Snack
Flying to the other side of the world, we have the ‘Australian meat pie’, this pie holds a special place in the hearts of locals and tourists and is a cherished culinary tradition. The hand-sized wonder is filled with a medley of minced meat, often beef or lamb, cooked with onions, gravy, and hidden spices. This is a very common school lunch showing their popularity. Australians often top the pie with tomato sauce (ketchup), and it is a go to snack during sporting events. Within recent years, a food standard code was introduced requiring the ‘Meat Pie’ must contain 25% of meat flesh, this does make us question how much meat was in it before…
Lebanese savoury Pie – Sfiha
Sfiha is a Lebanese classic savoury pie, also known as lahm bi ajeen (literally meaning ‘meat in dough’). If you love a gyros or a donner kebab a Sfiha may be right up your street! The Lebanese describe it as the best of both worlds, with a flat pillowy crust and perfectly seasoned meat topped with chopped tomatoes and pine nuts. It is a very popular street food dish throughout Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and certain areas of Egypt and has been a popular item of Levantine cuisine dating back to the 15th century.
A South African classic – Bobotie
Bobotie is a South African staple pronounced (ba-boor-tea) and dates back to the 17th century. This pie is filled with a curried beef filling mixed with raisins, walnuts and apricot chutney, creating a perfect balance of sweet, savoury, and sour. Traditionally, boboties are topped with a mixture of eggs, milk, salt and pepper, which represents a top crust and keeps the moisture securely in the pie.
A classic Bobotie dish is served with spiced yellow rice, banana slices and a Malaysian chilli paste. Would you try a Bobotie pie?
Spanish – Empanadas
Empanadas originate from Spain; however, they have taken the world by storm in the last few years and have become popular throughout so many cultures. Empanadas are traditionally a small baked pastry shaped like a crescent moon, filled with beef or pork alongside bell peppers and lots of spices encased in buttery dough. However, chicken empanadas have boomed this year and have now been the most popular flavour. If you are making these from scratch, remember to crimp the edges to get the official Spanish effect.
Pies, in all their glorious forms, reflect the diversity and creativity of cultures worldwide. From rich and hearty pies to fruity curried sensations, these culinary creations have been embraced by communities for generations. As we have ventured through several countries, we have discovered how pies continue to tell stories of tradition, flavours, and innovations.
Are you going to try any of the pies we mentioned?