Here’s a list of the top 8 facts about pies that you probably don’t know:
1. “I’ll have a coffin and chips please”
Across the pond our American friends used to refer to pies as “coffins”. Could it have been a bout of dry pastry? Could people have loved them so much they took them to the grave? Well, apparently not. Coffin is just another word for basket, which we suppose a lattice top has the look of.
2. Money, money, money
Did you know, that in Britain over £1 billion is spent every year… on pies! Which pie is in the lead you may well ask? Why pork of course! Around £145 million is spent on pork pies alone. Now that’s a lot of dough! (or pastry…)
3. Oh why, no pie?
According to history, Oliver Cromwell, English military and political leader, banned the eating of pie in 1644, declaring it ‘a pagan form of pleasure’. If that’s not bad enough, the ban wasn’t lifted for 16 years until restoration leaders finally came to their pastry loving senses in 1660.
4. “Ay oh whey oh,
walk bake like an Egyptian”
The Ancient Egyptians are responsible for the first fruit pie! History writes that in 2,500BC the Egyptians made pies using ground oats or wheat wrapped around a filling of honey or figs. Imagine that with custard!
5. “To pie, or not to pie. That is the question”
Pies, oddly enough, weren’t mentioned in English literature until the 12th Century. However, it wasn’t until the 14th Century that literary greats William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer mentioned them in their works. The ‘Cottage Pie Tales’ just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…
6. Pie, pye, pi
Did you know that in the Oxford English Dictionary the word pie has up to ten different meanings? There’s five as nouns, four as verbs and one adjective! Mad!
7. Have a slice of humble pie
The phrase, “to eat humble pie” comes from an actual pie! A humble pie, or an ‘umble’ pie as it’s more commonly known, evolved from ‘numble’ (confusing we know!) which actually means a ‘deer’s innards’. Phew! That was a lot of umbles. Due to the cheap offal filling it was commonly a pie eaten by the poor, although despite the humble nature it is only by chance that the phrase has evolved.
8. When in Rome…
It’s the Romans you can thank for adding a pastry crust to the top of pies. As their Empire spread, so did the word about the now beloved pastry crust – thanks guys, you sure did us a favour!