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Pie - It's Not Just for Dessert

September 14, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Seattle 0 Comments

Pie - It's Not Just for Dessert

When most of us think about pie, we envision Grandma with her mitts and apron on pulling a bubbly peach cobbler from the oven. Sweet, flaky, warm and luscious, most pies are of the dessert variety and serve their purpose very well. Pies are loved from the East to the West and from the North to the South, and some people eat them all day long. That's right, pies make for hearty meals as well as post-meal snacks, so you can even have some pie after you finish your pie if you choose to. If you are a lover of the golden-brown, warm and gooey stuff, you will be happy to know that you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Before it came to rest in modern culture and schools for cooking worldwide, the savory pie variety originated thousands of years ago when the Greeks borrowed the original pie concept from the Egyptians and added meat to it for the first time in known history. Using a flour crust, the Greek meat pies were often cooked buried under coals or fried to golden perfection. Greek-style pies quickly spread throughout the Roman Empire and were again modified to contain vegetables and various seafood including: mussels, oysters, fish, and other meats. The crust of the pie that covered the top side remained but was discarded just before eating, serving only as a protective cover for the delicious insides.

When the Crusaders wandered into Roman territory, they also adopted the pie and returned to their homelands with it. Now back in Europe, the pie received yet another transformation as its thin crust became a thick, stiff one used for cooking purposes only. Only the contents of the European meat pie were consumed. Historians believe that the name "pie" came from European pastry chefs who used magpie pigeon as the staple meat in the dish. Commonly referred to as the "pie" since the late 1300s, this popular creation underwent fine changes when it caught on with the French and Italians. The crust was made flakier with the addition of butter and dough-folding, resulting in a more delicious and appetizing texture.

From Europe, adventurers and missionaries brought the dish wherever they went, so the pie became known in many corners of the world. It wasn't until the 1800s that pie became famous to the majority of the human population. Within the next hundred years, the focus switched from savory pies to sweet pies, and today the sweet pies have become standard issue in the United States.

You can still enjoy the traditional meat pie in many places. In Louisiana, the Natchitoches pie is a famous savory variety. British and Australian meat pies are still regularly served in many restaurants today. Latin Americans, Africans, and Middle Eastern cultures all have meat pie variations of their own. If you want to learn more about these diverse cultural foods and recipes, cooking schools in Seattle are a great place to start. So, the next time you crave pie and are having trouble deciding what you want, remember this: It's not just for dessert.

 This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Seattle. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary
Arts in Seattle offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Seattle, Washington area.
To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Seattle for more information.

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more atwww.chefs.edu/disclosures.  
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary.
 Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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