Friday, January 18, 2008

Who ate all the pies?

This is a pie is this

..and this

..and this.

This is not a pie.

This is obviously a pizza, Italian cheese on toast which under no circumstances merits description as a pie. Why do the Americans refer to pizza (as in "that's a darn fine slice of pie") as pie when it obviously isn't?

This may seem like a trifling matter to some, but I feel strongly that standards in the English language should be defended vigorously. This misuse of the word pie may not be a cassus belli, but at the very least should result in the expulsion of the American Ambassador to the Court of St James.

Given that we are now officially richer than the Yanks for the first time in a hundred years I think it's about time they showed some respect for our linguistic sensitivities.


Peevish McSnark said...

I think that referring to pizza as "pie" is a regional thing. No one in my region does it, but if you travel north a couple of hours, you'll hear it.

I just call it fucking delish and eat it every chance I get.

garfer said...

Yes, Nu Yawkers say it a lot. Ignoramuses.

KAZ said...

What about a quiche?

garfer said...

Quiche is obviously not a pie as it lacks a crowning glory of pastry (or meringue).


S.I.D. said...


garfer said...

A tart may or may not be a pie SID. This all depends on whether or not it is crowned with pastry.

A tart without a lid is nothing but a cheap tart and may not aspire to pie status

The Frumplingtons said...

Er...are you sure that first one's a pie? 'Cos it looks a lot like a steak 'n' kidney PUDDING to me.

Just wondered, that's all...

garfer said...

You may have a point there frumlingtons.

The steak and kidney is a bit of a hermaphrodite in that it may be a pudding and pie simultaneously.

A nice trick that ensures its place in the pie pantheon.

Malc said...

It's all Dean Martin's fault.

And I don't care whether it's a pie or a pudding - that steak and kidney looks great.

Reg Pither said...

I think they do it to keep Don McClean happy. Bye Bye Miss American Pizza just doesn't have the same ring about it.
They're not all bad, though. After all, they sit on their fannies which is one Hell of a trick!

Reg Pither said...

P.S. The Frumplingtons have hit the nail on the gist. That IS a steak and kidney pudding. Suet, see, not pastry, and the greatest foodstuff known to mankind (Zzzzzzz).

Rimshot said...

"A pie is a baked food, with a baked shell usually made of pastry dough that covers or completely contains a filling of fruit, meat, fish, vegetables, cheeses, creams, chocolate, custards, nuts, or other sweet or savoury ingredients. Pies can be either "filled", where a dish is covered by pastry and the filling is placed on top of that, "top-crust," where the filling is placed in a dish and covered with a pastry/potato mash top before baking, or "two-crust," with the filling completely enclosed in the pastry shell. Some pies have only a bottom crust, generally if they have a sweet filling that does not require cooking. These bottom-crust-only pies may be known as tarts or tartlets. An example of a bottom-crust-only pie that is savoury rather than sweet is a quiche. Tarte Tatin is a one-crust fruit pie that is served upside-down, with the crust underneath. Blind-baking is used to develop a crust's crispiness, and keep it from becoming soggy under the burden of a very liquid filling. If the crust of the pie requires much more cooking than the chosen filling, it may also be blind-baked before the filling is added and then only briefly cooked or refrigerated. Pie fillings range in size from tiny bite-size party pies or small tartlets, to single-serve pies (e.g. a pasty) and larger pies baked in a dish and eaten by the slice. The type of pastry used depends on the filling. It may be either a butter-rich flaky or puff pastry, a sturdy shortcrust pastry, or, in the case of savoury pies, a hot water crust pastry.

Occasionally the term pie is used to refer to otherwise unrelated confections containing a sweet or savoury filling, such as Eskimo pie or moon pie.

A "cow pie" refers to cow dung rather than a food."

When you stop calling things Bubble and Squeak, they'll stop calling pizza pie.

Arabella said...

I think Chicago-style pizza is called pie because the pizza crust is deep and sided; the filling is thick and the whole thing quite sick-making in its richness and cheeziness.
Take it you're over the vomming?

garfer said...


Sitting on fannies conjures up images of a questionable nature.


We call it bubble and speak because that's the sound it makes during cooking. Onomatopoeic genius.


Deep dish pizza is just plain wrong. Almost as wrong as cheese stuffed crusts at Pizza Hut.

Rimshot said...

Garfy..."deep dish pizza is just plain wrong"

Them's fightin' words, cowpoke.

FirstNations said...

only ignorant people from east of the Rocky Mountains call a pizza a pie. we ignore them.
and by 'we' i mean all right thinking persons, of course.

MJ said...

Is a flan too far afield?

garfer said...


Let battle commence. My pork pie will be victorious.


And quite right too.


Your flan suggestion is beneath contempt.

Mopsa said...

I remember the Chicago Pizza Pie Factory cafe in London in my teens - I always wondered about that pie thing. A pie has one definition as far as I'm concerned - if it tastes amazing, it deserves the moniker. If it tastes yuk it's American.

Rimshot said...

because when one thinks of fine, gourmet dining, one automatically

garfer said...

Overcooked beef, prunes and custard, tripe and onions.

What's not to like?

Kyahgirl said...

you have to like a man who feels so passionate about pie and proper English! Glad you feeling better and can fill your pie hole with delicious...uhhh pie!