Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Do pies taste as good from Hollands?/Good things come to those who wait!

Its the age old problem. Your pie will take 45 minutes in the oven but you want it NOW if not sooner. This is why a quick 'zap' in the microwave is often the preferred choice of pie lovers everywhere. But it is generally considered that pies cooked by this method don't taste as mouth wateringly delicious, but is it true? Time for a pierate official verdict which will use similar rock solid scientific taste-o-meter techniques that were employee in the Welsh pie taste. The taste bud doesn't lie.

But there's no need here to go with an already reviewed pie. Hold onto your hats because we're about to attempt a science experiment with a review of two new pies! People with a weak heart are advised to stop reading now because the excitement might just be too much for you.

Introducing Holland's Pies, beloved pie makers in the North West of England since 1851. Nowadays they are part of a large food group and their pies can often be found cheap in the supermarkets, although this may be limited to the Northern reaches. The two pies purchased were for instance on a two for £1.50 offer in Morecambe Morrisons. This scores highly for cheapness but lowers my expectations of the standard of product, maybe unfairly because it could always be a bargain.

I chose a Potato and Meat Pie as the microwave option and a Just Steak Pie as the oven cooked pie of choice. Why, you ask, did I not chose two pies the same to make it a fair test? Well cos I didn't want to eat two pies the same and this is my test and I make up the rules.

On the left we have the P&M and the right-hand pie is the steak. You can see from this picture how the pastry from the steak pie had crumbled. Hollands advertise their pastry as of excellent quality and for the steak pie I agree with this. The crumblyness (that mythical 9th C) is in this particular pie a good thing. It also has an excellent taste whereas often pastry can have a good texture but lack any real taste at all. It is certainly different to the competition. However this is where the microwave option fails the P&M pie as it's pastry had a pretty horrible texture and was overly chewy. Fillingwise they were pretty similar despite differing cooking methods. So that it is then in summary, if you want pastry perfection then remember good things come to those who wait.

Now a quick rundown of the pie content and the scores on the doors. They both had nice gravy and a good capacity. However the actual meat and potato was a bit mushy with not a great consistency. The steak was a bit too chewy and a bit cheap in my opinon. These pies to me seem like a mass market contender rather than anything resembling a premium product. But overall they are really cheap and outstanding value when on offer. Recently this seems to be happening regularly so maybe stock up when the chance comes.

Potato and Meat Pie (microwave) - 4.1/7

Just Steak Pie (oven) - 4.7/7

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