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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

pie for a little word, it packs large mysteries. It is, for example, difficult to determine its origins or, once they are identified (it is suggested it comes from magpie) to understand the significance of the connection. And it stands for a very wide culinary connection, in space as well as time. If the dictionaries are correct, the implication of the word is miscellany or mess (which magpies are famous for too). In Italian, the word pasticcio also has this double meaning: pie and pastiche.

The urge to contain foods within a wrapping of pastry or other dough is general, giving us foods as various as pasties, Forfar bridies, pastele, pirozhki, ravioli, böreks, samosas, and empanadas. But these are not pies. Pies, at least at the outset, were larger, and they have a form. either a dish or plate or, if a raised pie, a pastry version thereof. They are not folded or wrapped.