I grew up in Lancashire and took pies for granted… pies and steak puddings. Most often Hollands Pies.
Hollands have been baking pies for your chippy tea since 1851 and operating from Baxenden just outside Accrington since the mid-1930’s. They are a mostly meat and pastry treat with occassional aberrations like a cheese and onion pie (made to vegetarian society standards) and a cheese and onion pasty (which doesn’t seem to claim vegetarian standards so maybe its a weaning product).
When aged 19 I moved to Nottingham it was a double blow to my pie eating. Firstly it was too far south to buy a baby’s head (steak pudding) – as I think I’ve grumbled about before on this blog (it obviously traumatised me) but secondly there was this weird puff pastried aberration in every chip shop I went in…called a Pukka Pie.
Pukka have been trading since 1963 and obviously haven’t learnt how to make decent pastry yet, let alone a decent pie.
They used to make a vegetarian pie with lumps of tofu in it…and if nothing else says pie freakery that has to be it.
If anything sums up the North/South divide for me its pies.
Imagine my delight this evening when I discovered (one of those times when a thought bubbled to the top of my head and a laptop was within reach at the same time) the Holland Pie finder.
According to the pie finder my nearest decent pie is a mere 9 miles away in Spalding. I can feel a trip out coming on… a nice visit to Ayscoughfee Hall and park (the park once featured in the Saturday Independent’s top 50 parks in the UK..and has a pedal roundabout) with my rellies when they visit next week.
Mind you.. I think the outlet in Spalding is Heron frozen foods…so it may offend my traditionalist sensibilites less to persuade said rellies to bring some decent pies down with them when they come… and maybe a decent black pudding whilst they’re at it. <you can take that as a hint big sister o’ mine if you’re reading in>
But I have to bear in mind, and not get over excited, that the only Pie in the Hollands range I can now eat (as it doesn’t contain onion) is the ‘meat’ pie. A tasty mix of seasoned beef and pork, wrapped in their unique, golden shortcrust pastry. I could probably get away with a chicken and mushroom as it only contains onion powder…. but then a chicken and mushroom pie is like… a girly pie.
I’m in need of a meat pie.