So what is the pork pie?
The traditional British pork pie is a meat pie, which is made up of roughly chopped up pork and pork jelly sealed in a hot water crust pastry. Seasoned with salt and pepper and herbs, it is then baked free standing, which gives the bow shaped sides that are one of the distinctive features of the Pork Pie. Pork pies can come with a filling that is one of two colours (providing food colouring is not used); theese are grey or pink. Grey is the traditional colour, where the pork pie will be made from fresh pork, and the pink colour is given when cured pork, such as bacon and ham are used.
Where does it come from?
Pork Pies come from across the UK, and are made in a variety of ways using a variety of recipes; however Melton Mowbray is known as being the capital of the Pork Pie industry! It is said to be the traditional source of commercial and artisan pork pies.
Pork Pies are not allowed to bear name of a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie, unless they are made in the designated area, due to the protected geographical indication status that has been sought out by the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association.
What was its purpose?
The Pork Pie are survivals of the medieval tradition of raised pies and have changed surprisingly little. Pork Pies were originally seen as a handy and transportable lunch that were popular with the lower class, particularly agricultural workers and grooms.
It is now seen as a cold snack or part of a meal, and made using recipes that have been adapted to make the pastry more palatable and chefs have started using 'hand raising' techniques.
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