There are many different culinary traditions in making Pork Pies, such as the Tortière made in Québec, but it's in England that Pork Pies have been raised to a fine art.
The pork pie belt in England stretches through the Midlands from the border with Wales to Nottingham. Well-known Pork Pies in England include those from Staffordshire, from Cromer, Norfolk, from Melton Mowbray, and from Yorkshire.
In England, they are usually raised pies, firm enough to stand up on their own without the support of a pie tin.
They are usually individual sized, and best served room temperature.
The meat often comes from pigs trotters and heads. Ones that have grey meat inside were cooked from raw pork; ones that have pink meat inside were made with cured pork.
Some people say that pork pies shouldn't be pink inside, as that indicates cured meat, but many afficionados see pink as a sign of a good pie, and disagree.
Jelly is poured into the pies after they have been cooked and cooled. This protects the meat inside, gives it a longer storage life. Cheaper ones may have too much jelly in them, which many people don't like.
The pastry should be crisp, not soggy. Inside, the filling should be lean, instead of leaden and heavy from fat, but still be juicy from just enough fat and jelly.
There is a "Pork Pie Appreciation Society" that meets every Saturday in Rippondon, Yorkshire at the Old Bridge Inn. They sample pork pies. The Society was founded in 1982 and still going as of 2006.
Literature & Lore
Prince, Rose. Savvy shopper: pork pies. London: Daily Telegraph. 11 June 2005.
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