Wednesday 26 March 2014

Top 12 Most Unusual Pies We've Ever Eaten

As a Pierateer, if there’s one question I’m asked more than “What’s your highest-ranked pie?” and “Why?”, it’s got to be “What's the weirdest pie you’ve ever eaten?”

It’s a hard question to answer. We’ve eaten quite a few unusual pies over the years – and many of them were unusual for more than just their filling. So here at Pierate HQ we put our heads together and drew up a conclusive list of the Top 12 most unusual pies we’ve ever eaten.

And here they are:

12. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh mince pies

gold frankincense myrrh pie
We 12 pies of Orient are
After eating these pies, RAS concluded that "if I were to buy them again, it would certainly be for the "Three Kings" novelty factor rather than the edibility factor". These extravagant delights from Fortnum & Mason make it into the list of unusual pies for two main reasons. 

The first reason is obvious. Gold? Frankincense? Myrrh? Can you really eat those things? Well yes, yes you can. But Pierateer RAS complained of a lack of filling and fruitiness in the gold topped pie, and noted that the frankincense oil-infused pie felt "slightly like eating some minty toothpaste in a pie".

The second reason is their eye-watering price tag. At £12.95 for a dozen, these aren't mince pies you're just going to be sipping with Sainsbury's Basics lager - although that might be all you can afford after splashing out on these expensive treats. But we certainly commend RAS for taking it for the team and forking out the money.

gold frankincense myrrh pie
Ever seen a smaller mince pie?

11. Vietnamese coconut pie

coconut pie
Put the pie in the coconut and eat it all up
My Vietnamese friend looks at this picture and says: "Oh I know this one. It's coconut pie."

"Is it common?" I ask.

"Yes. It's not exactly traditional, but whatever pastry we've got we tend to stuff it with coconut."

Well there you go. An interesting cultural lesson from Pierate. SJL bagged this lattice pie from a dessert stall in the Vietnamese border town of Chau Doc, near the Mekong river. Commenting that "the flavour was about as confusing as the politics of Vietnam", SJL wasn't quite sure what to make of a pie that "looked like coconut but actually tasted like crystallised sugar but wasn't overly sweet" and "had a kinda starchy taste which reminded me of rice."

10. Sweet chicken pie 

sweet chicken pie
Sweet and savoury chicken pie
Aren't we missing something here? We ate this chicken pie at the same time we ate an ostrich pie, so why would the chicken pie make the list and the ostrich pie not?

The answer is that the Hong Kong chicken pie was, oddly, far weirder than the ostrich pie. The juxtaposition of the chicken pie's savoury filling with the sweet pastry played havoc with SJL's taste buds. Describing the experience as "a bit of a culture shock for me", he had to overcome the weirdness by eating the filling first and the pastry second (for dessert). Very unusual.

The ostrich pie, on the other hand, apparently tasted great.

9. Polabe pie

Not a pie!
From the picture you can see this isn't a real pie - it's a casserole with a lid on top. But what makes this pie weird is its name. The Hoops Pub call it the 'Polabe Pie'.

"What is a polabe?" we asked ourselves. Is it some kind of exotic vegetable? Is it type of deer? Or a species of pigeon? And how do you pronounce it? Poe-lay-be? Poll-labe?

It turns out polabe is more simply just a contraction of "pork, lamb and beef". While it's not a particular crazy filling in itself, it's certainly an unusual name for a pie.

Read the full review here

8. McDonald's apple pie in the Netherlands

For those of you who are used to this:

This is going be quite a surprise:

Pierateer RAS received the shock of his life when ordering an apple pie in an Amsterdam McDonald's. Yes, when the Dutch wish to procure an McDonald's apple pie, they are served an actual apple pie! What in blue blazes?! It even comes in a plastic casing. But it leads us to ask: why don't British McDonald's customers receive the same treatment?

Read the full review here

7. Borneo Starbucks pie

Starbucks beef and onion pie
We really did buy this Borneo
Borneo Pie Tour was never going to be a huge success, but one thing we did learn is that you can buy a pie in Starbucks. Yes, a real pie - not even a little apple tart or anything. A full-on beef and onion pie. It all seems quite bizarre: why can you buy a pie in a Borneo Starbucks, but not in a Starbucks on British soil, arguably the home of the pie?

Read the full review here

6. Camel pie

Camel pie
No scrimping on the crimping either
These ships of the desert can travel great distances across arid terrain and forego water for days on end. While impressive, these facts don't necessarily translate into something that sounds tasty to eat. But boy was I wrong. The slow-cooked camel was tender as anything, and rather delicious too.

Read the full review here

5. Zebra pie
Zebra Pie from Nice Pie
The zebra pie earns its stripes
Oddly enough, we've actually tried zebra pie twice here at Pierate. Once when we made our own zebra pie (and horse pie), and a second time when we tried the Nice Pie zebra pie (in the photograph).

We all agreed that our own creation was, if we may say so ourselves, really rather good. The zebra meat was a lot more tender than its horsey counterpart, with a texture likened to pork. Equally delicious was the Nice Pie version, which came sporting some very impressive stripes. This pie was therefore unusual both in terms of its content and design!

Read the full review here

4. Crocodile and leek pie


We are really entering unusual pie territory now. I mean, who in their right frame of mind would consider putting that into a pie? What were they thinking? LEEK?!

Oh ho ho, I'm just joshing. Of course the unusual element to this pie is the snappy aquatic reptile. If you watch the video, you'll see that SJL (who ate this pie as part of a week-long pie-eating marathon) actually very much enjoyed the crocodile. So bravo Nice Pie on another successful and unusual concoction.

Read more about SJL's challenge: Pies Don't Make You Fat! I Ate Pie for EVERY Meal for a Week and Lost Weight

3. Squirrel pie

Wild Squirrel Pie from Nice Pie Review

“Squirrel – really?!” Yes – really! We're hoping these are grey squirrels, and not those lovely red squirrels. Our main question was: how much meat can there be on a squirrel? Well, RAS went nuts for this pie, so squirrel meat must be pretty good.

Read the full review here

2. Popcorn pie

Oh dear oh dear. Yes, this volcanic mess is our responsibility. To be fair, we made this a long time ago (before we even got going with Pierate), but the horror still lives on. Luckily we managed to dig this photo of the popcorn pie atrocity out the archives, so you too can gawp at our sheer lack of success.

In theory, this pie should have been a rip roaring success. We determined that the temperature at which a popcorn kernel bursts is around 180°C. So we figured that putting the popcorn kernels inside a pie and then heating it full blast in an oven would give us a pie filled with lovely, fluffy popcorn - there seemed no logical reason that this wouldn't happen.

Instead, what we removed from the oven was this terrifying bubbling mess. None of the kernels burst, leaving us with a revolting, tooth-breaking disasterpiece. Don't try this at home - it won't work and will be thoroughly inedible.

1. Python pie

Python pie

Tempted by the too-good-to-miss pun of a pie-thon, TJP fashioned this pie out of pastry, vegetables and some genuine python meat. He might have only eaten a slither, but that was enough for him to decide he never wanted to eat python again.

Read why it was so bad: How not to make a python pie

So those are 12 of the most unusual pies we've eaten so far. Now it's your turn: what's the weirdest pie you've ever eaten?

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