As the British Pie Awards open for entries to their  competition, I am fully aware how seriously us Brits take the matter of pies.  Indeed we have a National Pie week and for many the pie is still a staple part of the British diet.

pie1Last year I entered the British Pie Awards for the first time and I cannot describe how fierce the competition is or how stressful it was to drive around the ring road system of Melton Mowbray looking for the entry drop off point. In my mind Melton Mowbray was a quaint village although the reality was a large town with traffic jams, lots of traffic lights and a one way system. I had expected to see bright glaring signs announcing where the pie award drop off point was, but alas no such signs existed and as the clock ticked and the entry deadline loomed, I know that my stress levels increased.  As my husband refused to listen to my directions as I spotted the venue and instead decided to lunge us into another traffic jam the words ‘divorce’ may have been uttered more than  a few times.

As I ran to the drop of point with a chiller box containing my precious pie entry and joined the registration queue with only four minutes to spare, my heart was pounding and I felt trepidation as my entry had to be weighed and temperature probed before being accepted.  When the entry was safely in the hands of the British Pie Award team and all was accepted, I remember a great sense of relief washing over me and a celebratory glass of wine in the local pub was quick to follow.

pie2So I know all about the stresses and strains associated with pies, their making and the competitions that exist, but I was still surprised to read that on Saturday 15th February 2014 a fight broke out at a wedding over a pork pie. Wendy Carter and Ryan Barraclough  got married at the Harold Club in Bradford on Saturday and in the buffet room a fight broke out over a pork pie that resulted in a brawl erupting with up to forty guests getting involved. My first thoughts were they were either very hungry or this was a very special pie.  West Yorkshire Police officers attended an incident at the wedding venue at  7.20pm where two people were arrested for assault , whilst a third person was given a fixed penalty for a public order matter. Now it emerged that the problem was that the pie was thrown sparking a war, so perhaps all pork pies should carry an advisory note stating ‘for eating not throwing’. It just goes to show that you should never mess with a man and his pork pie and that the British are never more passionate than when a pie is involved.

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com