Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Hats off to the pork pie
The pork pie is truly one of the marvels of British inventiveness. Compact, nourishing and flavoursome, it ought to be part of every Briton’s daily diet as it is of mine.
For you Johnny Foreigners who don’t know what it is, the pork pie comprises an oily pastry shell in the shape of a stumpy cylinder surrounding a gelatinous meaty filling. Despite the name, the meat is not in fact pork, but an amalgam including mutton, tripes and human flesh. The delicacy came into being by accident in 1853 when one Guy Trumpton, a worker at a meat pie factory in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, fell drunkenly into one of the grinding machines and got mixed in with the sheeps’ brains and offal which formed the traditional filling. His absence was noted only after the next batch of pies had been delivered to retailers, but the altered filling proved a surprise hit and soon orders for the new ‘Poor Guy’ – of which pork pie is a corruption – were being churned out as quickly as the local prisons and graverobbers could supply the constituent material. Before long they began to appear on Queen Victoria’s table, and it is said that the Kaiser’s surrender in 1918 was celebrated by the ritual partaking of a giant pork pie in the shape of Germany (along with much Morris dancing and sodomy).
Here are some reasons why pork pies deserve to be better known.
1. You can eat them as a snack or a complete meal, so many different sizes do they come in.
2. You don’t have to cook them.
3. After refrigeration or freezing, they make excellent cricket balls, ice hockey pucks and projectiles for hurling at the enemy team during football matches.
4. With a slow-burning fuse attached, they would serve well as incendiary grenades. I have never heard of them used as such, but the amount of oil in the pastry suggests high flammability.
5. They are hardier than human beings. Try this experiment: throw a pork pie and a person from the roof of a thirty storey building. Which makes the bigger mess?
6. Their glutinous character induces drowsiness after eating them. This is excellent news for parents and teachers, as they can be fed to children to pacify them and thus reduce the risk of the little shits engaging in the crack abuse and devil worship we hear so much about these days.
7. They are an ideal culinary accompaniment to the use of pornography, as they impart a greasy slickness to the fingers which facilitates lubrication.
8. They repel the fairer sex, which will be appreciated by those of you subject to the exhausting attentions of nymphomaniacs.
9. The English gentleman abroad cannot afford to let his sartorial flair slip for even a moment. So what happens when the heel on one of your Gieves & Hawkes patent leather spats breaks off at an Embassy bash after all the heel bars have closed for the night? Humiliation, that’s what. Unless you happen to have with you some glue and… need I say it?
10. At Christmas time the pastry shells can be used in miniature Nativity scenes as authentic-looking frankincense and myrrh pots. The meat filling can also be flattened out and used to represent the Christ child’s afterbirth.
I hope I’ve persuaded you. With the festive season coming up, why not treat yourself?
I bet you like pork scratchings too.
FMC: jokes aside, they're surprisingly delicious, especially with a beer or two and something violent in the DVD player.
Kav: pork scratchings make my teeth fall out, so, no. Scotch eggs are pretty fucking awful too.
"British Pie," I don't believe I've seen that movie, thank God.
Footie, I have to tell you that you have completely validated my recent post. That picture of the pork pie is the mingingest-looking thing I have seen in a long, long time, I mean like since I've had to check my dogs' shit for worms and decipher what the hell the then-baby Fledgling Sparrow had been eating for her dinner over at the ex's by examining the contents of her poopy diaper.
At least American hot dogs look half-way decent, even if they are comprised of lips and assholes.
Christ in a cracker, that looks nasty.
Presentation man, could they at least try to class it up, or disguise it? A sprig of parsley, some gravy, a fucking body bag?!
I feel ill. I have to go eat lunch.
Fat Sparrow: you see, that's the problem with Americans. You have to dress everything up so that it looks nice. Your porn movies even have condoms in them now, or so I'm told.
Jagd Kunst: with a Teutonic name like that you'd be bayoneted before you could even set foot on English soil.
I'll take ten, and my marriage will thank you for it.
But what of Cornish Pasties? Those damn things can be used to nourish oneself or as a weapon of self defense (if hurled from a distance or swung like a cudgel).
They seem to have NEGATIVE flavor, sucking pepper and salt into another universe of bland, dry, weightiness.
I used my own, I've got plenty to spare. And I scraped the piccalilli off the pavement outside Chicken Cottage.
...or IS it.
What would Sweeney Todd have made of it?
Scotch eggs do actually hatch into real Scots. My mum and dad bought me at Safeway's. One in a million come out with a mini-bar-sized bottle of Glenlivet. They only found a thimblefull of Irn Bru in my egg but then life's a lottery, isn't it.