2 November 2011

Cultural Conundrum of Pie

Pie = Delicious, Right? I love pie. And I love to say that I love pie because it could mean totally different things depending on what country I'm in. 

When the Brits say pie this is what they're talking about:

Hairy Bikers' Steak and Ale Pie
Or some variation on this; steak pie, pork pie, fish pie, whatever! Essentially, a yummy savoury filling covered in yummy buttery pastry. I love pie! Nom nom nom.

But ask the Americans for some pie and this is what you'll get:

Shop.Cook.Make. Apple Pie

Good Ole American Apple Pie! or Cherry Pie or Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Pie or French Silk Chocolate Pie... and now I'm drooling. So yes, the key ingredient in American pies is sugar. Drop a sweet seasonal filling on a crispy pastry crust and you've got yourself a pie. I love pie!

But should you land your two feet in Barbados, stumble into a rum shop and order some pie, this is what you'll be served:

Proper Bajan Macaroni Pie
No pastry, no crust, just mouthfuls of starchy, cheesey bliss! This is the definition of PIE in our homeland: a brick composed of some long macaroni and a mob-a-ton of cheese. There are some other ingredients too; here's a recipe. I love pie!

Macaroni Pie is indeed our holy grail of all things pie. But we also do corn pie, yam pie, sweet potato pie... A pie is anything starchy, covered in some kind of white sauce and/or cheese, and baked in the oven. These are all standard side dishes in any meal. 

My mother is naturally one of the best cooks I know (aren't all Mums?). But Macaroni Pie isn't her speciality. Instead she does an Onion Pie. This isn't really keeping in tradition with real Bajan pies as being super-starchy. But it is a hell of a lot closer to Bajan than the Brit or Yank versions. It is the same concept as a Macaroni Pie but the onions replace the pasta. I LOVE onions and I LOVE this pie. 

I've recently tried a variation on Mum's Onion Pie. Thus was born: Onion-Courgette not-so-pie-like Pie. Photos, recipe, and war-stories from the kitchen to come...

If you want recipes for the pies on this page you can find the Brit one here, the American one here, and the Bajan one here. Now you're craving pie aren't you?


  1. I'm always craving pie. But those Brit pies look especially amazing. As for me, as an American, I'll admit I make a pretty killer Dutch Apple pie. My parents always ask for it at holidays.

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  3. I know I'm reading this late - but just wanted to say I LURVE this post... brilliant! And as you said, a portion of pie would pull loud all now!!