Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Petition to make it a crime to serve a top-crust pie

Question: Is this a pie?

While many people might say "Yes, this is clearly a pie", there will undoubtedly be a very vocal faction who bellow "NO! This is a CASSEROLE with a pastry lid!". 

Indeed, that is the stance we take at Pierate (and also, incidentally, taken at the British Pie Awards, who disqualify any pie not totally and wholly encased in pastry). We have waged a long battle against pastry-topped pies at Pierate for many years, but it's recently been brought to our attention that there is now a petition gathering signatures to make it a criminal offence to 'wrongly-describe' a pastry-topped pie as a "pie". The petition claims that:
"For too long customers in pubs and restaurants have ordered what is described on the menu as a pie only to be served with casserole in a pot covered by a puff pastry lid. This is not a pie and is also curiously difficult to consume. A pie is defined by the OED as "A baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry." epetitions
Indeed, we have felt the sheer disappointment one feels when the menu promises a "pie" yet from the kitchen emerges a pie dish topped off with a disc of pastry. But while we're pretty fanatical about insisting that pies should be wholly encased in pastry, the last part of the petition had even our jaws dropping to the floor.
"This petition urges the implementation of criminal sanctions upon the owners of food outlets that serve items described as pies without a pastry base." epetitions
Blimey! Criminal sanctions! That's pretty severe. I personally wouldn't go that far, but I do think that pubs and restaurants shouldn't be able to get away with falsely serving top-crust pseudo-pies for much longer. What do you think? Do you think the heinous act of wrongfully calling a pastry-topped pie a pie deserve time behind bars? Or should we just get over it? Leave a comment below, and take part in our little poll at the bottom on the right hand side of the page.

With 504 signatures, the petition only needs another 99,496 before the matter could be debated in the House of Commons. The petition was set up by a "Bill T Wulf" - we have no idea who he is, but we'd love to contact him if possible.

(Edit: We found the national hero who set it up)


  1. I've been reading this article and the a few others and it disappoints me to see an actual pie based website referring to the pie with a lid, a casserole, when the pie with a lid falls under the bracket of a cobbler, as casserole has a cheesy top a cobbler has either scones or a pastry lid.

    I feel this devalues the petition as much as pastry on a stew devalues the pie

  2. Thanks for the feedback, this is interesting to note. Cobbler is not a term I have really come across but it sounds like it is a useful term to distinguish between a Casserole with a pastry lid, and an authentic pie, it is perhaps a term we could start using. I don't like the term 'Top-crust pie' because it shouldn't have the word 'pie' in when it isn't a pie!

    I have never felt that a Casserole must have a cheese topping, most of mine would be without any topping.

  3. The correct term is Stew wiv an 'at and I despise both them, and those eateries that insist on serving them up as PIES.

    Even worse, I've even found places, that when asked :
    "Is it a PROPER PIE or a Stew wiv an 'at ?" will tell you
    "Oh no, it's a PROPER PIE, home-made by our chef" and then serve you up a stew in a bowl with one of those disgusting puffed up abominations perched on top.

    Criminal sanctions ?

    I'd shoot them in the face !


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