Did you know that the first ever chicken pie recipe appeared in Mesopotamia prior to 2,000 BC? Ever since, pies have baked themselves into our food culture. While meat pies might make us feel at home Down Under, these other weird pies from around the world will definitely challenge your taste buds!
Over a decade ago, the Grand Union pub in West London added a slew of weird pies to its menu, including camel and chickpea pies, zebra and veggie pies and even llama and fig pies. The hype didn’t last long, unfortunately, with the venue drawing much criticism from animal rights activists and celebrities like Stella McCartney.
Beware – it’s not as pretty as it sounds! This popular pie hails from Cornwall and is made with potatoes, eggs and sardines or pilchards. The fish heads are meant to be left poking up through the pastry on top, so that it appears as if they are ‘stargazing.’ Traditionally, it’s served on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Seal Flipper Pie
Hmm … we’re not sure how we feel about this one either! But in places like Newfoundland and Labrador (and even other parts of Canada), it can be easy to find a seal flipper pie on a restaurant menu. In some spots, you might even be able to pick one up in a supermarket!
Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds! During the Great Depression in America, lemons and other citrus fruits were apparently hard to come by – and so cooks began using vinegar to replace the natural fruit juices and acids in their recipes. When it came to pies, they ended up with a kind of creamy, custard pie with a tangy flavour, and it quickly became a regional staple.
Could this be the saddest pie ever? Funeral pies are often served at a funeral or wake in Amish communities or given to the grieving family. What’s in them? The main ingredient is actually dried raisins, which were readily available in old times because unlike fresh fruits, they didn’t need refrigerating.
Calling all junk food lovers: If you’re a corn chip admirer, keep your eyes open when holidaying in the U.S. for the Frito pie. This dish consists of chilli, cheese, beans, jalapenos and Frito corn chips (or similar) served up in a casserole pot. The result is something resembling nachos and if done right, it can apparently be just as tasty!
Mealworm (Pecan) Pie
This might sound like something out of a horror movie, but according to chef Monica Martinez, mealworms (which kind of look like maggots) are rich in protein, making them a great pie ingredient. They also produce a nutty flavour and as such, can make a great substitute for pecans in the classic pecan pie dish! This isn’t as strange as you might think – around the world, mealworms have been used in burgers, hummus and even protein balls.