As you all know, I really enjoy eating and so I’m trying out difference places and different food types. And I recently went to Square Pie which is a very very English tradition.
Pie sellers were the food trucks of the medieval English world, they’d be out selling their pies from Dawn to Dusk. Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler from the Discworld series was typical of these guys and girls. A meat pie from him could have any kind of meat from horse to rat to beef to mutton or worse. If you were lucky, it wouldn’t kill you but it might make you wish that you were dead.
In Charles Dickens’ Pickwick papers the servant Sam Weller says that a pieman used cats “for beefsteak, veal and kidney, ‘cording to the demand”, and recommends that people should buy pies only “when you know the lady as made it, and is quite sure it ain’t kitten.”
Then there’s the fictional character Sweeny Todd killing his customers and his accomplice turning them into pies.
Things have improved greatly since them, apart from a blip in 2013 with the horse meat scandal.
I went to their closest outlet to me at the Westfield Shopping Centre. It’s a typical shopping centre containing shops selling loads of stuff that no one really needs but can’t resist buying. It’s also designed in such a way that it’s almost impossible to find your way out after entering. At 10pm, I imagine that the security staff gently usher the dazed and confused shoppers who arrived at 10am and found themselves wandering the maze unable to escape laden down with things they never meant to buy but somehow they were hypnotized into buying.
I made my way to the food court and their outlet. They have a good selection of pies and sides. I went for the classic Steak and Kidney with mash and cauliflower mash.
The mash was a little watery and could have done with some butter to improve its taste and texture. The cauliflower mash had both a good taste and texture. The gravy was very good, too many places over salt gravy but this was just right.
The pasty was perfection, golden brown and very flaxy. When I cut into the pie, the smell was heavenly. It took me right back to coming home from school and as soon as I opened the door, the smell of a steak and kidney pie tantalizing me with the delights to come. The smell alone is an 11 out of 5.
The pie itself tasted as good as it smelt.
Unlike my mother’s, the pie wasn’t full of steak and kidney. There was a modest amount of steak and an even more modest amount of kidney. Yes, it was a disappointment but the overall experience was still good. So, a 3.5 out of 5.
I will go back and try others, the Lamb and Rosemary will probably be next.