The Butter Pie, Lancashire
Matthew Fort accurately observed that Lancashire has a pie culture. Such is the love of pies in Wigan that its residents are nicknamed pie eaters, and the town is home to the World Pie Eating Championships: why is that not televised? I’d far rather see fat blokes enjoying food than stick thin athletes suffering while running marathons.
One Lancs favourite is the butter pie, whose history like that of any traditional dish says something about its place of origin.
The butter pie is a hearty thing, an individual one being about 4” in diameter. Its thick crisp pastry crust made with some butter and golden from brushing with butter holds a filling of substantial potato slices and soft onion at a ratio of about 3:1, that filling enriched with more butter and seasoned with salt and pepper – sometimes lots of pepper. Old timers in Wigan, Preston , Burnley , Bury , wherever it is found really, refer to it as Catholic Pie, or more rarely Friday Pie. Lancashire was and is an area with a large Catholic population, a county that held out against the Reformation and whose Roman Catholic numbers were swelled by Irish immigrants in the 19th century. Catholics who kept Fridays as meat free could fill up on butter pies.
Such is the esteem in which this pie is held that when dropped from Preston North End’s food offering after a supplier change a campaign began to right that wrong.
1 Response to The Butter Pie
From Tim Holt on 25th January 2010
"pie eaters" is nothing to do with pie consumption. It is an insult referring to the way the Wigan miners caved in during teh General Strike and ate "humble pie"